COVID-19 Town Hall: EMS Legal Issues Regarding COVID-19

April 16, 2020

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NAEMSP President, Dr. David K. Tan, spoke with our guests, attorneys Matthew Streger and Margaret Keavney.

  • Be sure to consider local or state waivers of existing law when crafting Crisis Standards of Care
  • If allowing crews to not transport suspected COVID patients who are well-appearing with acceptable vital signs, perhaps in a shared decision-making model, consider crafting an “acknowledgement form” that includes patient education rather than a “refusal form” since the patient is not really “refusing” your care or transport
  • CMS has issued temporary regulatory waivers to include expanding the list of allowable destinations for ambulance transport during the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Police departments and dispatch agencies are generally not considered a “covered entity” and, therefore, are not required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule
  • COVID status may be reported to a law enforcement official to prevent or lessen a serious and/or imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual or to the public
  • The Ryan White Act was expanded to include COVID-19 reporting
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