EMS Licensing: An Interstate Problem

Source: Crady deGolian, Council of State Governments, Capitol Research, September 2012

While states have had the authority to license emergency medical services personnel since the 1970s, the EMS industry has changed considerably in recent years. It is becoming increasingly more common for EMS emergency services personnel to cross state lines to provide services in non-declared states of emergency, meaning in some instances EMS professionals are practicing medicine without a license. While there have been limited efforts to address the problem–notably border states entering into memorandums of understanding to allow EMS personnel to work across state lines–a more permanent and wide-reaching solution has not been found. One possible way to solve this growing problem may be the formation of an interstate compact, which would allow member states to self-regulate the existing system for licensing EMS personnel.

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