1997 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representatives Malone, Barnett (92nd)
House Bill 1116
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 41-59-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A PARAMEDIC PRESENT IN AN AMBULANCE THAT HAS PICKED UP A PATIENT SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO DECIDE WHICH HOSPITAL OR TRAUMA CENTER TO TRANSPORT THE PATIENT TO; TO PROVIDE THAT AN AMBULANCE HAVING A PARAMEDIC PRESENT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT THE PATIENT TO THE NEAREST HOSPITAL; TO AMEND SECTION 41-59-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PRECEDING SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 41-59-75, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-59-75. Whenever an advanced life support ambulance picks up an ill or injured patient, an emergency medical technician-paramedic certified under this chapter who is present in the ambulance shall be authorized to decide which hospital or trauma center to transport the patient to, based on the type and severity of the patient's illness or injury and the type and level of the services provided at the hospital or trauma center. Any such ambulance having a certified emergency medical technician-paramedic present shall not be required to transport the patient to the nearest hospital, but that decision shall be made by the emergency medical technician-paramedic.
SECTION 2. Section 41-59-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-59-5. (1) The State Board of Health shall establish and maintain a program for the improvement and regulation of emergency medical services (hereinafter EMS) in the State of Mississippi. The responsibility for implementation and conduct of this program shall be vested in the Executive Officer of the State Board of Health (hereinafter executive officer) along with such other officers and boards as may be specified by law or regulation.
(2) The board shall provide for the regulation and licensing of public and private ambulance service, inspection and issuance of permits for ambulance vehicles, training and certification of EMS personnel, including drivers and attendants, the development and maintenance of a statewide EMS records program, development and adoption of EMS regulations, the coordination of an EMS communications system, and other related EMS activities.
(3) The board is authorized to promulgate and enforce such rules, regulations and minimum standards as needed to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The board shall not adopt any rule, regulation or standard that conflicts with Section 41-59-75.
(4) The board, on recommendation of the executive officer, shall appoint an EMS director who shall have basic responsibility for development and administration of the state EMS program and plan, and for administration of rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(5) The board is authorized to receive any funds appropriated to the board from the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund created in Section 41-59-61 and is further authorized, with the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council acting in an advisory capacity, to administer the disbursement of such funds to the counties, municipalities and organized emergency medical service districts and the utilization of such funds by the same, as provided in Section 41-59-61.
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(6) The State Department of Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services, acting as the lead agency, in consultation with and having solicited advice from the EMS Advisory Council, shall develop and submit to the Legislature a plan for the triage, transport and treatment of major trauma victims that at minimum addresses the following:
(a) The magnitude of the trauma problem in Mississippi and the need for a statewide system of trauma care;
(b) The structure and organization of a trauma care system for Mississippi;
(c) Pre-hospital care management guidelines for triage and transportation of major trauma victims;
(d) Trauma system design and resources, including air transportation services, and provision for interfacility transfer;
(e) Guidelines for resources, equipment and personnel within facilities treating major trauma victims;
(f) Data collection and evaluation regarding system operation, patient outcome and quality improvement;
(g) Public information and education about the trauma system;
(h) Medical control and accountability;
(i) Confidentiality of patient care information;
(j) Cost of major trauma in Mississippi; and
(k) Research alternatives and provide recommendations for financial assistance of the trauma system in Mississippi, including, but not limited to, trauma system management and uncompensated trauma care.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.