New Jersey will make a series of changes revamping the way it regulates emergency medical services under a bill Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on Friday — which lawmakers say will increase response times and streamline the ‘industry.
The bipartisan measure (A4107) is designed to improve advanced life support, an advanced level of emergency care, in the state.
State Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-Passaic, one of the main sponsors, said he will bring a “state-of-the-art urgent care system” to New Jersey and represents the most extensive reform of state emergency medical services law in nearly 40 years. .
“Our state has the most advanced healthcare system in the nation, giving our residents access to pioneering medical breakthroughs administered by accomplished professionals,” Schaer said. “The ALS Modernization Act of 2022 empowers our paramedics to deliver proven treatments in settings that will support effective, long-term patient recovery.”
Among the key changes, the law will allow a paramedic arriving at the scene of an emergency in New Jersey to begin treating a patient immediately, rather than waiting for a second doctor.
State Sen. Robert Singer, R-Ocean, another sponsor, said the provision was a response to the ongoing staffing crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Too many paramedics find themselves in situations where people desperately need help, but their hands were tied by regulations that required them to wait for support from another responder,” Singer said. “This crucial new law will save lives and ensure a faster response when people need help.”
The law also:
- Establishes an integrated mobile health program to give patients access to resources outside of the hospital, tailored to their condition.
- Creates a new State Emergency Medical Services Medical Director within the state Department of Health to oversee clinical issues.
- Requires paramedics to be licensed instead of certified to align with national standards
- Extends good faith immunity to paid EMS agencies.
An earlier version of the measure passed the Senate and State Assembly overwhelmingly in June, but Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill in September and demanded changes.
The Senate passed the updated version 37-0 and the Assembly 70-1 earlier this month.
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