senate Bill S6515

Amended

Relates to the provision of municipal advanced life support first responder service or municipal ambulance service

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 31 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 05 / Jun / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • 05 / Jun / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 6515A

Summary

Relates to the provision of municipal advanced life support first responder service or municipal ambulance service.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S6515
S6515A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §3008, Pub Health L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6515

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
the provision of municipal advanced life support first responder service
or municipal ambulance service

PURPOSE:

This bill provides that a municipality or fire district acting on behalf
of a municipality, and acting through its local legislative body, in
hereby authorized and empowered to adopt and amend local laws, ordi-
nances, or resolutions to establish and operate advanced life support
first response services or municipal ambulance services within the muni-
cipality or fire district when they meet or exceed all standards set by
the department for appropriate training, staffing, and equipment and
upon filing with the New York State Emergency Medical Services Council,
a written request for such authorization. Upon filing, the municipal
service shall be deemed to have fulfilled all the requirements of a
determination of public need for two years. At the conclusion of the
two-year period this bill would require the Commissioner of Health to
approve a subsequent application for the permanent operating authority
unless the municipality or fire district failed to meet the appropriate
standards set by the department.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Subdivision 7 (b) of section 3008 of the Public Health Law is amended by
removing the requirement that a municipality or fire district apply to
their requisite regional emergency medical services council for perma-
nent operating authority at the conclusion of their initial two-year
period and instead requires the Commissioner of Health to approve a
subsequent application for permanent operating authority unless the
municipality or fire district has failed to meet all standards set by
the department for appropriate training, staffing and equipment.

EXISTING LAW: Currently, under § 3008 of the Public Health Law, munici-
palities, or fire districts acting on behalf of a municipality are
granted a two-year presumption of need. Upon two years of operation and
the expiration of the presumption, an application must be filed with a
regional council for a determination of public need prior to the contin-
ued operation of a municipal advanced life support first response
service or municipal ambulance service.

JUSTIFICATION:

Municipalities that provide advanced life support first response
services or municipal ambulance services have shown that their services
reduce costs, increase efficiency, and generate revenue. Despite this,
municipalities continue to find themselves at a distinct disadvantage
when applying to a regional counsel for a certificate of need to contin-
ue providing such services. The regional council's make-up of not less
than two-thirds industry representatives makes it difficult to prove

that the current service is inadequate, particularly where a private
sector agency is similarly providing services.

Previous amendments to § 3008 have acknowledged this disadvantage and
attempted to cure it by creating a presumption in favor of granting a
municipality or fire district's application in 1992 (L. 1992, ch. 850)
and then five years later establishing an automatic two-year certificate
of need for municipalities and a strong presumption in favor of granting
a subsequent application for a permanent certificate (L. 1997, ch. 510).
As late as 2012, § 3008 was amended to permit the City of Utica to apply
for a permanent certificate of need directly to the Commissioner of
Health. Yet, municipalities find themselves mired in the application
process with the regional councils.

Given that many municipalities around the state have spent great time
and expense in training municipal employees in advanced life support and
have the appropriate equipment and staffing necessary to provide the
service, they should not be subject to the additional scrutiny of the
regional council and should be allowed to continue to operate provided
they meet the appropriate standards.

Municipal ambulance services have shown to provide faster response times
because municipal firefighters know the neighborhoods and are already
responding to the emergency call. Additionally, treatment and transpor-
tation can be provided by one responder as opposed to waiting for a
second provider to arrive on scene for transportation. Such consol-
idation of personnel and equipment results in greater efficiency in the
system and in increased patient care and reduced costs. Moreover, munic-
ipal ambulance services can generate revenue that will offset expenses
for the operation of municipal first responders and other financial
difficulties for the municipality.

For instance, the City of Saratoga Springs has operated its ambulance
service since 2012 and reported an 18-month average response time of
almost half that of other ambulance providers in the same area and
reported revenue totaling $222,940.90 for 2012 and $119,103.86 for the
first seven months of 2013 after deducting costs associated with addi-
tional firefighters including salary, overtime, health insurance and
pension benefits. The City of Utica and the City of Glens Falls also
reported the successful operation of revenue-generating municipal ambu-
lance services in its first two years but still endured long application
processes with their respective regional councils. In addition, in
2010-2011 the City of Utica reported municipal revenues in the amount of
$1,774,705 and the City of Glens Falls reported $679,724.

It is likely that opponents to the bill will argue that removing the
regional council from the application process will adversely affect the
private sector's ability to provide services. This is the same argument
that opponents made to the 1992, 1997, and 2012 amendments, but they are
unable to show any adverse effect by municipal ambulance services. In
fact, municipal and private entities continue to collectively operating
in areas throughout the State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Cost savings to local governments and potential generation of revenue to
offset first responder services. In addition, localities currently oper-
ating advanced life support first response services or municipal ambu-
lance services have used such service to offset large municipal tax
increases under the new tax cap.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any munici-
pality or fire district that has a temporary determination of public
need, any application made by a municipality or fire district for a
permanent operating certificate that is currently in the administrative
appellate process or on appeal before any Court of competent jurisdic-
tion.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6515

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the  provision  of
  municipal  advanced  life support first responder service or municipal
  ambulance service

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision  7 of section 3008 of the
public health law, as amended by chapter 464 of the  laws  of  2012,  is
amended to read as follows:
  (b)  [In the case of an application for certification pursuant to this
subdivision, for a municipal advanced life support  or  municipal  ambu-
lance  service,  to  serve  the  area within the municipality, where the
proposed service meets or exceeds the appropriate training, staffing and
equipment standards, there shall be a strong  presumption  in  favor  of
approving  the application.] Notwithstanding any other provision of this
article, any [city with a population of fourteen thousand seven  hundred
or  sixty-two  thousand  two  hundred  thirty-five, according to the two
thousand ten federal decennial census, or fire district acting on behalf
of any such city, that] MUNICIPALITY WITHIN THIS STATE, OR FIRE DISTRICT
ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY SUCH MUNICIPALITY, WHICH applies  for  permanent
certification  pursuant  to this [section] SUBDIVISION at the conclusion
of the two year period [provided in] CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF  this
subdivision,  shall  not  be required to apply to its regional emergency
medical services council [or the state emergency medical services  coun-
cil] for a determination of need, and the application shall be submitted
to and SUCH APPLICATION FOR A MUNICIPAL ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT OR MUNICI-
PAL  AMBULANCE  SERVICE TO SERVE THE AREA WITHIN THE  MUNICIPALITY SHALL
BE approved by the commissioner unless the [commissioner finds that  the
municipal  advanced  life  support  first responder service or municipal
ambulance service has] PROVISION OF SERVICES HAVE  failed  to  meet  the
appropriate training, staffing and equipment standards.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any
municipality or fire district that  has  a  temporary  determination  of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13644-02-4

S. 6515                             2

public  need,  any  application  made by a municipality or fire district
that is currently in the administrative appellate process or  on  appeal
before any court of competent jurisdiction.

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