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Archive for October, 2009

EMS 2.0

I am still digesting it, but found this post by “Ambulance Driver” to be very thought provoking.  Thanks to Scot Phelps for bringing it to my attention.

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Yesterday, September 30, 2009, the Senate approved the language of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 2010 and the President signed it the same day.

Why do we care about this?  This Act changes the expiration date of the current 2006 version of the Ryan White CARE Act to October 31, 2009.  Remember all the hullabaloo about the 2006 law leaving out the protections for EMS responders who treat patients that they don’t know have communicable diseases?  Well, we were counting on that being fixed in the 2009 readoption of the law.  It was set to expire yesterday, if not readopted.  Congress was not able to get that done in time, so they gave themselves an extension.  It seems all the focus on health care reform took time away from this part of health care law.

What does this mean to us?  People working with legislators in Washington are confident that the pre-2006 language will be voted into the new law, but it will take at least the next 30 days to get that made into law.  I’ll keep you posted.

Ryan White was a kid from Indiana who got HIV and AIDS from a blood transfusion and had a hard time with his school because they didn’t know a lot about how the disease was transmitted back in the 1980s.  His plight got the attention of the press and Congress, and a major HIV research and funding law, the Ryan White CARE Act.  This Act also provided for protection for EMS responders by requiring the hospitals to let us know when patients we bring them later get diagnosed with certain communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Ryan died in 1990.

Image from avert.org, used with permission.

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