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Paramedic home care bill moving in state Senate

Garcia sees bill as way to prevent hospitalization

BY PETER ROPER

THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

A proposed state law to let paramedics and ambulance companies provide some in-home health care services was passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this week on a unanimous vote.

Sponsored by state Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, the measure is modeled after a pilot program in Aspen and Eagle County.

Senate Bill 69 would create a Colorado Community Paramedic program that ensure the training and competency of paramedics providing in-home services. It’s gotten the support of the Colorado Medical Society, Colorado Hospital Association, Colorado Nurses Association and other health care groups.

Garcia, who teaches emergency medical technical services at Pueblo Community College, said the program would be especially helpful in rural areas where people often use ambulance services to reach emergency rooms for care.

“As a trained paramedic myself, I have seen time and time again instances where patients in my region could have been saved a trip to the hospital if they had the option for a medical professional to come to them and provide care in their homes,” Garcia said.

The bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee and, if passed there, to the full Senate for consideration.

proper@chieftain.com

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