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Governor signs bill prohibiting Arizona's EMTs from persuading patients into not going to hospital

7 Jun 2022 8:10 PM | Matt Zavadsky (Administrator)

The EMS Community should keep a close eye on developments related to this new law. 

Reading the actual text of the Bill (here), and chatting with an Arizona provider agency leader, it appears that organized treat and refer programs, conducted consistent with protocols established by the agency Medical Director, are still allowed (such as the current AZ Medicaid Treat and Refer program, and initiatives such as ET3), but we should be wary of potential drift in interpretation.

Recommend that you watch the video of the story in the news link for additional context.

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Governor signs bill prohibiting Arizona's EMTs from persuading patients into not going to hospital

House Bill 2431 prohibits Arizona's EMTs from diagnosing patients out in the field and persuading them into not going to a hospital.

June 7, 2022

https://www.12news.com/video/news/politics/arizona-bill-would-prohibit-emts-from-diagnosing-patients/75-9ec3cb3c-8459-4c72-86df-c47a36018693

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that prohibits emergency medical technicians from diagnosing patients or discouraging them from seeking transport to a hospital. 

House Bill 2431 sets new parameters for what Arizona's EMTs can or cannot recommend to patients they're treating out in the field. 

The new law prohibits EMTs from giving a presumptive medical diagnosis and using that diagnosis as justification to not transport the patient to a hospital. 

State Rep. Amish Shah, a medical doctor representing District 24, introduced the legislation after coming across research suggesting Phoenix had a high rate of "non-transports" compared to other jurisdictions.

“We have reviewed a lot of different cases that have come through, not only Phoenix. What we’ve seen in these cases is a pattern of counseling people out. And that doesn’t fit in best practice,” Shah told 12 News earlier this year.

The law further clarifies that EMTs can still inform a patient about their right to accept or decline transportation to a hospital.

Phoenix fire previously told 12 News that its paramedics and EMTs were already following the state's protocols. 

HB 2431 passed through the Arizona House of Representatives in a final vote of 34-17 before it was signed by the governor this week.

Eight state representatives declined to make a final vote on the bill.


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