Governor Signs Bill to Decompress Overcrowded Emergency Rooms

Friday, September 25, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif --- Today, California Governor Newsom signed  Assembly Bill 1544 authored by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) to increase access to emergency care resources by authorizing community and triage paramedic services in California. AB 1544 is a successful culmination of previous efforts to ensure community paramedicine and alternate destination pilot programs are able to be implemented statewide.

“AB 1544 is needed now more than ever is need to ease the burden on emergency rooms throughout California,” said Assemblymember Gipson. “We have a health care crisis! Many 9-1-1 users aren’t able to receive timely care because our paramedics aren’t able to transport patients to appropriate alternate destinations such as mental health or sobering centers. This bill is right for our most vulnerable patients who need timely access to care by the hands of our trusted paramedics and healthcare professionals. I’d like to thank the Governor and his team for working with sponsors and myself to make this bill what it is.”

Evaluations of existing Community Paramedicine pilot programs show that these programs improve coordination amongst health systems and reduce ambulance transports and emergency department use, with improved patient outcomes and no displacement of health professionals.

“Community paramedicine empowers firefighter paramedics to better respond to communities in crisis and connect them to the services they need.” said Brian K. Rice, President California Professional Firefighters. “This is an important community focused extension of health care that will modernize EMS services and lead to patient success. We thank Assemblymember Gipson for championing  AB 1544 and advocating for better community and patient care.”

AB 1544 is co-authored by Senator Bob Hertzberg and Assemblymember Todd Gloria and sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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