DAR File No. 42556

This rule was published in the February 15, 2018, issue (Vol. 2018, No. 4) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Health, Family Health and Preparedness, Emergency Medical Services

Rule R426-3

Licensure

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Amendment)

DAR File No.: 42556
Filed: 01/31/2018 10:32:28 AM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this amendment is to update language to be consistent with Title 26, Chapter 8a, require ambulance providers in recognized over-lapped service areas to have an agreement for responding to licensed patient care facilities, and to amend mutual aid and licensing requirements for ambulance providers.

Summary of the rule or change:

This amendment updates language to be consistent with Title 26, Chapter 8a, by changing the term "licensed" to include individuals. It requires licensed ambulance providers in service areas that have an overlap with another licensed ambulance provider to make an agreement for responding to licensed patient facilities. It also amends mutual aid and licensing requirements for licensed ambulance providers.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Title 26, Chapter 8a

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

These proposed rule changes are not expected to have any fiscal impact on state government revenues or expenditures because it is for the changing of terminology, and documentation for licensed ambulance providers. State expenditures and staff time are not affected.

local governments:

These proposed rule changes will create a fiscal impact for local governments who are required to develop agreements with other licensed ambulance providers in service areas where there is an overlap. The impacts include a decline or increase in billable patient transports based on the terms of the agreement. This amendment only affects local governments and a private ambulance providers where service areas have an overlap with other licensed ambulance providers, as described in Subsection 26-8a-416(6). Fiscal impacts are estimated at $1,200,000 annual billable inter-facility ambulance patient transports. A fiscal benefit will result to all licensed ambulance service providers by removing the requirement for a written mutual aid agreement with adjoining geographical service areas as a condition of licensing or license renewal.

small businesses:

These proposed rule changes are not expected to have any fiscal impact on small businesses revenues or expenditures, because no small businesses are included in the entities affected by this amendment.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

This amendment will create a fiscal impact for local governments who have performed inter-facility transports via the 911 call system when their license does not allow inter-facility services. This only affects local governments and private ambulance providers that have an existing overlap service area as described in Subsection 26-8a-416(6). Fiscal impacts are estimated up to $1,200,000 annual billable inter-facility ambulance patient transports. A fiscal benefit will result to all licensed ambulance service providers by removing the requirement for a written mutual aid agreement with adjoining geographical service areas as a condition of licensing or license renewal.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

This amendments will create fiscal impact for local governments who have performed inter-facility transports via the 911 call system when their license does not allow inter-facility services. This only affects local governments and private ambulance providers that have an existing overlap service area as described in Subsection 26-8a-416(6). Fiscal impacts are estimated up to $1,200,000 annual billable inter-facility ambulance patient transports. A fiscal benefit will result to all licensed ambulance service providers by removing the requirement for a written mutual aid agreement with adjoining geographical service areas as a condition of licensing or license renewal.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

Fiscal impacts are estimated up to $1,200,000 annual billable inter-facility ambulance patient transports. A fiscal benefit will result to all licensed ambulance service providers by removing the requirement for a written mutual aid agreement with adjoining geographical service areas as a condition of licensing or license renewal.

Joseph K. Miner, MD, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Health
Family Health and Preparedness, Emergency Medical Services
3760 S HIGHLAND DR
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84106

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Guy Dansie at the above address, by phone at 801-273-6671, by FAX at 801-273-4165, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

03/19/2018

This rule may become effective on:

03/26/2018

Authorized by:

Joseph Miner, Executive Director

RULE TEXT

Appendix 1: Regulatory Impact Summary Table*


FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

Fiscal Costs




State Government

$0

$0

$0

Local Government

$1,226,000

$1,200,000

$1,200,000

Small Businesses

$0

$0

$0

Non-Small Businesses

$2,000

$0

$0

Other Persons

$0

$0

$0

Total Fiscal Costs:

$1,228,000

$1,200,000

$1,200,000





Fiscal Benefits




State Government

$0

$0

$0

Local Government

$44,000

$44,000

$44,000

Small Businesses

$0

$0

$0

Non-Small Businesses

$1,202,000

$1,200,000

$1,20,000

Other Persons

$0

$0

$0

Total Fiscal Benefits:

$1,246,000

$1,244,000

$1,244,000





Net Fiscal Benefits:

$18,000

$44,000

$44,000

 

*This table only includes fiscal impacts that could be measured. If there are inestimable fiscal impacts, they will not be included in this table. Inestimable impacts for State Government, Local Government, Small Businesses and Other Persons are described above. Inestimable impacts for Non-Small Businesses are described below.

 

Appendix 2: Regulatory Impact to Non-Small Businesses

The costs and benefits are based on the assumption that local governments are currently transporting inter-facility types of patients in affected service areas, and will no longer be allowed to do so. Fiscal data is based on revenues differences from the past calendar year compared to the previous calendar year by the non-small business ambulance provider.

 

A cost to local governments and a non-small business exists for developing new agreements where licensed geographical services have over-lapping service areas. It is based on affected providers' staff time estimate of $2,000 per agreement X 14 licensed providers with overlapped areas for a total of $28,000. Agreements are assumed to be in effect for at least the licensure period of 4 years, therefore it was only added in the first year.

 

A benefit to local governments and non-small business is based on a reduction of all ambulance providers' staff time estimated at $2,000 per mutual aid agreement that will no longer be required for adjoining service areas. There are 92 licensed providers with approximately 25% of them renewing license agreements each year, for a total estimated benefit of $46,000 per year.

 

 

R426. Health, Family Health and Preparedness, Emergency Medical Services.

R426-3. Licensure.

R426-3-100. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This Rule is established under Chapter 8, Title 26a, Chapter 8a. It establishes standards for the licensure of an air ambulance, ground ambulance, and paramedic services.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to set forth air and ground ambulance policies, rules, and standards adopted by the Utah Emergency Medical Services Committee, which promotes and protects the health and safety of the people of this state.

(3) The definitions in Title 26, Chapter 8a are adopted and incorporated by reference into this rule.

 

R426-3-200. Requirement for Licensure.

(1) A person who provides or represents that it provides air ambulance, ground ambulance, paramedic ground ambulance, or paramedic services shall first be licensed by the Department.

 

R426-3-300. Licensure Types.

(1) The Department may issue exclusive ground ambulance transport licenses for the following types of service at the given levels:

(a) emergency medical technician (EMT);

(b) advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT); and

(c) paramedic.

(2) Current emergency medical technician intermediate advanced (EMT-IA) licenses will remain in effect, no new EMT-IA ground ambulance licenses will be issued.

(3) The Department may issue exclusive ground ambulance inter-facility transport licenses for the following types of service at the given levels:

(a) emergency medical technician (EMT);

(b) advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT); and

(c) paramedic.

(4) The Department may issue exclusive paramedic, non-transport licenses.

(5) The Department may issue a paramedic tactical license that is a designation of function not geographical location.

 

R426-3-310. Air Ambulance Licensure Types.

(1) The Department may issue an Air Ambulance provider a license in accordance with services accredited by a Department approved accreditation vendor.

 

R426-3-400. Scope of Operations.

(1) A ground ambulance or paramedic licensed provider as described in R426-3-300 may only provide service to its specific licensed geographic service area and is responsible to provide all services to its entire specific geographic service area except as provided by R426-3-900 Aid Agreements. It will provide emergency medical services for its category of licensure that corresponds to the [certification]licensed levels in R426-5 Emergency Medical Services Training, Licensure and Certification Standards.

(2) A ground ambulance provider or paramedic service provider as described in R426-3-300 shall provide services 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

(3) Air ambulance services shall provide services 24 hours a day, every day of the year as allowed by weather conditions.

(4) A ground ambulance provider or paramedic service provider as described in R426-3-300 shall provide all standby services for any special event that requires ground ambulance or paramedic services within its geographic service area. The licensed provider may arrange for those services through R426-3-900 aid agreements. Designated quick response units may also support licensed ground ambulance or paramedic services at special events. If a licensed provider refuses to provide service, or is non-responsive in a timely manner to a request for a special event, the event organizer may use a licensed or designated provider of their choice.

 

R426-3-500. Minimum Licensure Requirements Air Ambulance, Ground Ambulance, and Paramedic Services.

A licensed provider conforming to R426-3-200 shall meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) sufficient air or ground ambulances, emergency response vehicle(s), equipment, and supplies that meet the requirements of this rule and as may be necessary to carry out its responsibilities under its license or proposed license without relying upon aid agreements with other licensed provider;

(2) locations or staging areas for stationing its vehicles;

(3) a current written dispatch agreement with a designated emergency medical dispatch center;

(4) ground ambulances [shall]may have current written aid agreements with other ground ambulance licensed providers to give assistance in times of unusual demand;

(5) a Department certified EMS training officer that is responsible for continuing education;

(6) a current plan of operations.

(7) a description of how the licensed provider or applicant proposes to interface with other licensed and designated EMS [agencies]providers.

(8) demonstrate fiscal viability;

(9) medical personnel roster which includes level of [certification]licensure to ensure there is sufficient trained and [certified]licensed staff who meet the requirements of R426-4-200 Staffing, and operational procedures.

(10) all permitted vehicles shall be equipped to allow field EMS personnel to be able to:

(a) communicate with hospital emergency departments, dispatch centers, EMS providers, and law enforcement services; and

(b) communicate on radio frequencies assigned to the Department for EMS use by the Federal Communications Commission.

(11) a current written agreement with a Department-certified off-line medical director or a medical director certified in the state where the service is based pursuant to R426-3-700.

(12) provide the Department with a copy of its certificate of insurance or if seeking application, provide proof of the ability to obtain insurance to respond to damages due to operation of a vehicle or air ambulance in the manner and following minimum amounts:

(a) liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 for each individual claim; and

(b) liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 for property damage from any one occurrence;

(c) the licensed provider as described in R426-3-300 shall obtain the insurance from an insurance company authorized to write liability coverage in Utah or through a self-insurance program and shall:

(i) provide the Department with a copy of its certificate of insurance demonstrating compliance with this section; and

(ii) direct the insurance carrier or self-insurance program to notify the Department of all changes in insurance coverage within 60 days.

(13) not be disqualified for any of the following reasons:

(a) violation of Subsection 26-8a-504; or

(b) disciplinary action relating to an EMS license, permit, designation, or certification in this or any other state that adversely affect its service under its license; and

(14) A paramedic tactical service as described in R426-3-300 shall be a public safety agency or have a letter of recommendation from a county or city law enforcement agency within the paramedic tactical service's geographic service area.

(15) In areas that are served by more than one transport provider, both providers shall have an agreement addressing first response and transport responsibilities for all types of facilities listed in R426-1-200(29) in effect by June 30, 2018 and shall provide copies to the Department and all impacted PSAP's and dispatch centers. The Department may act as mediator if needed to reach agreement.

 

R426-3-600. Cost, Quality, and Access Goals for Ground Ambulance Providers.

(1) A local government shall establish emergency medical service goals pursuant to Title 26-8a-408(7).

(2) Goals shall be renewed every four years in concurrence with the licensure process for the EMS licensed ground ambulance provider. All local governments in a licensed service area are required to participate.

(3) Goals may be amended, if necessary, due to:

(a) unforeseen changes in service delivery,

(b) community impacts, or

(c) significant unforeseen impact in the geographical service area.

(4) Goals shall be written, approved by local governments, and submitted to the Department with licensure and re-licensure application by the EMS licensed ground ambulance provider for the geographical service area.

(5) Local governments may choose to recognize EMS providers who have achieved accreditation by a Department approved accreditation organization as meeting the cost, quality, and access goals.

(6) Cost goals shall indicate the expected financial cost to the local government(s) and patients for the level of service provided.

(7) Quality goals shall indicate the expected level of service plus any additional foreseen improvements or advancements in service expectations.

(8) Access goals shall indicate the local government's expectation for access to the EMS system by any individual within the local government's geographic area.

 

R426-3-700. Ground Ambulance or Paramedic Service Application.

(1) An applicant desiring to obtain a new license for ground ambulance, or paramedic services shall submit the applicable fees and application on Department-approved forms to the Department. As part of the application, the applicant shall submit documentation that it meets the requirements listed in R426-3-500 along with the following:

(a) a detailed description and detailed map of the exclusive geographical areas that will be served;

(b) if the requested geographical service area is for less than all ground ambulance or paramedic services, the applicant shall include a written description and detailed map showing how the areas not included will receive ground ambulance or paramedic services;

(c) if an applicant is responding to a public bid as described in 26-8a-405.2 the applicant shall include detailed maps and descriptions for all geographical areas served in accordance with 26-8a-405.2(2);

(d) documentation showing that the applicant meets all local zoning and business licensing standards within the exclusive geographical service area that it will serve;

(e) a written description of how the applicant will communicate with dispatch centers, law enforcement agencies, on-line medical control, and patient transport destinations;

(f) patient care protocols, medications, and equipment approved by the provider's medical director based on licensure level according to Department policies; and

(g) applicant's plans for operations during times of unusual demand.

(2) An applicant desiring to renew an existing license shall submit documentation that it meets the requirements listed in R426-3-500, along with the following:

(a) a written assessment of field performance from the applicant's off-line medical director; and

(b) other information that the Department determines necessary for the processing of the application and the oversight of the licensed entity.

(3) An applicant desiring to obtain a new license or renew an existing license shall submit written cost, quality, and access goals as described in R426-3-600, if available.

(4) A ground ambulance or paramedic service holding a license under 26-8a-404, including any political subdivision that is part of a special district may respond to a request for proposal if it complies with 26-8a-405(2).

(5) Upon receipt of an appropriately completed application, ground ambulance or paramedic service license and submission of license fees, the Department shall collect supporting documentation and review each application.

(6) If, upon Department review, the application for a new license is complete and meets all the requirements, the Department shall issue a notice of approved application as required by 26-8a-405 and 406.

(7) Award of a new license or a renewal license is contingent upon the applicant's demonstration of compliance with all applicable statute and rules and a successful Department quality assurance review.

(8) After review and before issuing a license to a new service, the Department shall directly inspect the ground vehicle(s), equipment, and required documentation.

(9) A license may be issued for up to a four-year period unless revoked or suspended by the Department. The Department may alter the length of the license to standardize renewal cycles.

 

R426-3-710. Air Ambulance Application.

An applicant desiring to obtain a new license or to renew its license for air ambulance services shall submit the applicable fees and application on Department-approved forms to the Department. As part of the application, the applicant shall submit documentation that it meets the requirements listed in R426-3-500 and the following:

(1) certified articles of incorporation, if incorporated;

(2) a statement summarizing the training and experience of the applicant in the air transportation and care of patients;

(3) a copy of current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Carrier Operating Certificate authorizing FAR, Part 135, operations;

(4) a copy of the current certificates of insurance demonstrating coverage for medical malpractice;

(5) a description and location of each dedicated and back-up air ambulance(s) procured for use in the air ambulance service, including the make, model, and year of manufacture, FAA-N number, insignia, name or monogram, or other distinguishing characteristics;

(6) successful completion of a Department approved accreditation process and such accreditation decision shall exclude Federal Aviation Agency or Aviation Deregulation Act regulated activities;

(7) for new air ambulance services licensed under R426-3-200, the applicant shall submit an application for accreditation by a Department approved accreditation process within one year of receiving a license under this rule; and

(8) licensed air ambulance services shall achieve accreditation and maintain accreditation.

(9) Any new air ambulance providers applying for a license who have been licensed and operating in any other state for at least one year shall provide the Department with a copy of a successful accreditation decision, or an application sent to a Department approved accreditation vendors prior to receiving an air ambulance license.

(10) Upon receipt of an appropriately completed application for air ambulance provider license and submission of license fees, the Department shall collect supporting documentation and review each application.

(11) After review and before issuing a license to a new service, the Department shall directly inspect the air vehicle(s), equipment, and required documentation.

(12) Department approved accreditation vendors shall allow a Department representative to accompany accreditation surveyors on site surveys or during any accreditation inspections at the request of the Department.

(13) If, upon Department review, the application for a new license is complete and meets all the requirements, the Department shall issue a notice of approved application as required by 26-8a-405 and 406.

(14) Award of a new license or a renewal license is contingent upon the applicant's demonstration of compliance with all applicable statute and rules and a successful Department quality assurance review.

(15) Any events impacting patient safety including death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm, or requiring intervention to sustain life shall be reported to the Department and the associated Department approved accreditation vendor(s) by the licensed air ambulance provider within 30 days or the event.

(16) A license may be issued for up to a four-year period unless revoked or suspended by the Department. The Department may alter the length of the license to standardize renewal cycles.

 

R426-3-800. Medical Control.

(1) All licensed providers shall enter into a written agreement with a physician to serve as its off-line medical director to supervise the medical care or instructions provided by the field EMS personnel and dispatchers. The physician shall be familiar with:

(a) the design and operation of the local pre-hospital EMS system; and

(b) local dispatch and communication systems and procedures.

(2) The off-line medical director shall:

(a) develop and implement patient care standards which include written standing orders and triage, treatment, and transport protocols;

(b) ensure the qualification of field EMS personnel involved in patient care through the provision of ongoing continuing medical education programs and appropriate review and evaluation;

(c) develop and implement an effective quality improvement program, including medical audit, review, and critique of patient care;

(d) annually review triage, treatment, and transport protocols and update them as necessary;

(e) suspend from patient care, pending Department review, a field EMS personnel who does not comply with local medical triage, treatment and transport protocols, or who violates any of the EMS rules, or who the medical director determines is providing emergency medical service in a careless or unsafe manner. The medical director shall notify the Department within one business day of the suspension;

(f) attend meetings of the local EMS Council, if one exists, to participate in the coordination and operations of local EMS providers; and

(g) licensed providers shall notify the Department if an off-line medical director is replaced, within thirty days.

(3) It is the responsibility of the air ambulance medical director to:

(a) authorize written protocols for the use by air medical attendants and review policies and procedures of the Air ambulance service; and

(b) develop and review treatment protocols, assess field performance, and critique at least 10% of the Air ambulance service runs.

 

R426-3-900. Ground Ambulance or Paramedic Service Provider Aid Agreements.

[(1) All licensed ground ambulance providers shall maintain aid agreement(s) with other ground ambulance provider(s) to call upon them for assistance during times of unusual demand, inter-facility transports, or stand-by events.](1) All licensed ground ambulance providers are expected to render mutual aid support for adjoined geographical service areas. Mutual aid support means that they may be called upon to provide assistance during times of unusual demand. Exceptions for this expectation should be submitted as part of a license application.

(2) Other types of [A]aid agreements shall be in writing, signed by both parties, and detail the:

(a) purpose of the agreement;

(b) type of assistance required;

(c) circumstances under which the assistance would be given; and

(d) duration of the agreement.

(3) The parties shall provide a copy of [the]any aid agreement (s) except for mutual aid support as described in R426-3-900(1) to the Department and to the designated emergency medical dispatch center (s ) that dispatch the licensed ground ambulance providers.

(4) When mutual aid support is given as described in R426-3-900(1), the licensed ground ambulance provider rendering support will be responsible for the following, unless otherwise stated in writing, and approved by the Department prior to the event:

(a) billing or other financial reimbursements;

(b) liability for EMS operations related to staff and patient care, and;

(c) patient care protocols for licensure level.

 

R426-3-1100. Application Review and Award for Ground Ambulance Providers Selected by Public Bid.

(1) Upon receipt of an appropriately completed application, for ground ambulance or paramedic service license and submission of license fees, the Department shall collect supporting documentation and review each application.

(2) If, upon Department review, the application is complete and meets all the requirements, the Department shall:

(a) for a new license application, issue a notice of approved application as required by 26-8a-405 and 406;

(b) issue a renewal license to an applicant in accordance with 26-8a-413(1) and (2) or 26-8a-405.1(3), whichever is applicable.

(c) issue a four-year renewal license to a license selected by a political subdivision if the political subdivision certified to the Department that the licensed provider has met all of the specifications of the original bid and requirements of 26-8a-413(1) through 26-8a-313(3); or

(d) issue a second four-year renewal license to a licensed provider selected by a political subdivision if:

(i) the political subdivision certified to the Department that the licensed provider has met all of the specifications of the original bid and requirements of 26-8a(1) through (3); and

(ii) if the Department or the political subdivision has not received, prior to the expiration date, written notice from an approved applicant desiring to submit a bid for ambulance or paramedic services.

(3) Upon the request of the political subdivision and the agreement of all interested parties and the Department that the public interest would be served, the renewal license may be issued for a period of less than four years or a new request for the proposal process may be commenced at any time.

 

R426-3-1200. Criteria for Denial or Revocation of Licensure.

(1) The Department may deny an application for a license, a renewal of a license, or revoke, suspend or restrict a license without reviewing whether a license shall be granted or renewed to meet public convenience and necessity for any of the following reasons:

(a) failure to meet substantial requirements as specified in the rules governing the service;

(b) failure to meet vehicle, equipment, staffing, or insurance requirements;

(c) failure to meet agreements covering training standards or testing standards;

(d) substantial violation of Subsection 26-8a-504(1);

(e) a history of disciplinary action relating to a license, permit, designation, or certification in this or any other state;

(f) a history of serious or substantial public complaints;

(g) a history of criminal activity by the licensee or its principals while licensed or designated as an EMS provider or while operating as an EMS service with permitted vehicles;

(h) falsification or misrepresentation of any information in the application or related documents;

(i) failure to pay the required licensing or permitting fees or other fees or failure to pay outstanding balances owed to the Department;

(j) failure to submit records and other data to the Department as required by R426-7;

(k) a history of inappropriate billing practices, such as:

(i) charging a rate that exceeds the maximum rate allowed by rule;

(ii) charging for items or services for which a charge is not allowed by statute or rule; or

(iii) Medicare or Medicaid fraud.

(l) misuse of grant funds received under Section 26-8a-207; or

(m) violation of OSHA or other federal standards that it is required to meet in the provision of the EMS service.

(2) An applicant or licensed provider that has been denied, revoked, suspended or issued a restricted license may appeal by filing a written appeal within thirty calendar days of the receipt of the issuance of the Department's denial.

 

R426-3-1300. Change of Owner.

(1) A license and the vehicle permits cannot be transferred to another party.

(2) As outlined in 26-8a-415, a new owner shall submit within 10 (ten) calendar days prior to acquisition of property, applications and fees for a new license and vehicle permits.

 

KEY: emergency medical services, licensure

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [July 15, 2016]2018

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 26-8a


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2018/b20180215.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Guy Dansie at the above address, by phone at 801-273-6671, by FAX at 801-273-4165, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.