Legislative session highlights for the week of January 24th

MHCA testified on two bills this week including:
LD 1849, An Act to Clarify Inspection Requirements for Hospitals and Certain Nursing Facilities
LD 1858, An Act Regarding Delegating Authority for Services Performed by Emergency Medical Services Personnel in Health Care Facilities
With respect to inspection requirements for nursing facilities, the bill seeks to remove the requirement for multi-level facilities (NF and AL) must receive a single coordinated licensing and fire code inspection. MHCA testified neither for nor against the bill and raised concerns about limited staff time and unnecessary duplication of effort when shared spaces (i.e. kitchen, dining, activities, etc.) may be surveyed twice. We asked that if the statutory requirement were to be changed then language should be added to prevent undue duplication of effort in surveying multi-level facilities. Work session is scheduled for February 3rd.
The other bill, LD 1858, proposes to expand delegation of medical services to a licensed emergency services person to “health care facilities” and further adds that the individual may be employed or a contracted agent of the hospital or health care facility. MHCA testified in qualified support, seeking to gain clarity on the definition of health care facility and if it was contemplated to include nursing homes. In our testimony, we noted the serious staffing crisis facing our members and that the pandemic has certainly demanded flexibility, ingenuity, and collaboration. If there are creative ways to utilize EMS workers in long term care settings, we indicated a desire to explore possibilities, open communication, and possibly work together. No work session has been scheduled yet.
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