PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The standards for licensing and verifying air ambulance services.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 18.73.081 Duties of secretary -- Minimum requirements to be prescribed, 18.73.140 Ambulance and aid vehicles -- Licenses.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Under RCW 18.73.140 and WAC 246-976-320 and 246-976-390, the Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical and Trauma Prevention (OEMTP) licenses and verifies all air ambulance services to provide trauma care in the state of Washington. The department is considering whether air ambulance services should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services (CAMTS) before they are licensed and/or verified. Accreditation will ensure public safety and conformity between Washington air ambulance standards and the current national standards.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The department initially heard testimony on air ambulances ambulance standards as part of another recently adopted rule change for the emergency medical services and trauma rules (proposed under WSR 00-07-075B [00-03-075], and filed with the code reviser on January 19, 2000). These standards were pulled out of that process for additional study as a result of testimony received at the February 23, 2000, rules hearing. Based on extensive research since that time, the department is reconsidering including the language initially proposed within the EMS and trauma rules.
In the previous rules process several statutory and other EMS and Trauma Care Committees participated in the drafting and reviewing of the proposed rule changes. These committees include: The Steering Committee for EMS and Trauma, Licensing and Certification Committee, EMS Education Committee, Hospital, Pediatric, Rehabilitation and Data Technical Advisory Committees. Members of the above listed committees represent such associations as the Washington State Fire Commissioner's Association, Washington Ambulance Association, Washington State Firefighter's Association, Washington State Hospital Association, American College of Surgeons, Emergency Nurse's Association, Law Enforcement -- Washington, Association of Neurological Surgeons, Washington State Medical Association Standards Committee, the public sector and the citizens of Washington state. All of these committees agreed that all air ambulance services in Washington state should be accredited by CAMTS before they apply to become licensed and/or verified. Having completed that research and confirmed that CAMTS is the only qualified accrediting organization, we are resubmitting this proposed rule change.
Any questions or concerns regarding air ambulance services (WAC 246-976-320) rules or the verification of air ambulance services (WAC 246-976-390) should contact Janet Griffith, Director, Office of Emergency Medical and Trauma Prevention at P.O. Box 47853, Olympia, WA 98504-7853, phone (360) 705-6745, or fax (360) 705-6706.
May 2, 2000
M. C. Selecky