Bennet Advances Bipartisan Emergency Medical Services Bill

Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), last week introduced and passed through the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, bipartisan legislation to ensure that emergency medical service (EMS) practitioners can provide life-saving drugs and care to patients experiencing medical emergencies. 

"EMS professionals work directly with physicians to respond to traumatic events," Bennet said. "This bipartisan bill will allow them to continue this important work while creating safeguards to track controlled substances, such as opioids. The bill also improves access to innovative treatments for opioid addiction. Physicians and other practitioners should have multiple tools at their disposal to fight this epidemic."

Without the Protecting Patients Access to Emergency Medications Act, EMS practitioners cannot administer life-saving drugs to patients without physician supervision - putting patients' lives at risk. This legislation would update regulations in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) so EMS practitioners can continue to administer drugs immediately when the patients need them most.

The bill also would improve access to treatments for opioid addiction, including the use of injectable or implantable treatments, which have a lower risk of abuse and are an important part of treating addiction.

The following organizations, in a letter to Bennet and Cassidy, expressed their strong support for the legislation: American Ambulance Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, Association of Critical Care Transport, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Association of EMS Physicians, and National Association of State EMS Officials.