In its fourth round of requesting public comments on proposed regulations for paramedic training and scope of practice, the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) removed provisions permitting paramedics to transport patients to sobering centers and mental health crisis stabilization units. Simultaneously, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development announced it will extend authorization for pilot alternate destination projects through November 2021.
EMSA stated that it removed the alternate destination language from the proposed regulations to give the new EMSA director “the opportunity to work with stakeholders and collaborate on a path forward for both alternate destinations and community paramedicine.” Gov. Newsom appointed David R. Duncan Jr., MD, as EMSA director on Sept. 13.
CHA submitted comments during the fourth comment period, which ended Sept. 28, addressing the importance of community paramedicine – and alternate destinations in particular – as well as providing several technical comments. CHA continues to advocate for alternate destination authorization in legislation and regulations.