AB 450 – Establishes Paramedic Disciplinary Review Board; Imposes Reporting Requirements On Paramedics’ Employers

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: Nov 03, 2021

Under existing law, the Emergency Medical Services Authority is tasked with establishing training standards for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, as well as issuing EMT and paramedic licenses. The EMSA also has authority to take adverse actions against license holders, such as suspending or revoking a paramedic license.

AB 450 establishes a seven-member Paramedic Disciplinary Review Board within the EMSA, the primary duty of which is to handle appeals of licensure actions by the EMSA, beginning January 1, 2023. The bill describes in detail the procedure to be used in such appeals. Among other requirements, the Board is required to consider any employer-imposed discipline in making a final determination regarding licensure appeals.

In addition, AB 450 requires that any employer of a paramedic must report to both the EMSA Director and to the Board any time a paramedic in their employ is terminated or suspended for cause, within 72 hours of the event. For purposes of this requirement, a suspension or termination “for cause” means one of the following reasons:

  1. Use of controlled substances or alcohol to such an extent that it impairs the ability to safely practice para-medicine.
  2. Unlawful sale of controlled substances or other prescription items.
  3. Patient neglect, physical harm to a patient, or sexual contact with a patient.
  4. Falsification of medical records.
  5. Gross incompetence or negligence.
  6. Theft from patients, other employees, or the employer.

An employer who fails to report as required may be subject to an administrative fine up to $10,000 per violation. When an employer makes a report, the license holder has the opportunity to submit additional exculpatory or explanatory information for the Board’s review.

(AB 450 amends Sections 797.112, 1797.172, 1797.185, 1797.194, 1798.200, 1798.210, and 1798.211 of, adds Article 2.5 (commending with Section 1797.125) to Chapter 3 of Division 2.5 of, and repeals Section 1798.204 of the Health and Safety Code.)

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