On August 18, 2021, Mississippi's State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs issued a statewide Order (https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/15395.pdf) allowing certified paramedics, advanced emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical technicians acting under medical direction to care for patients in licensed hospital settings. The scope of practice of these emergency personnel is defined by the Mississippi State Department of Health's EMS Laws, Rules, and Regulations, set forth at Title 15, Part 12, Subpart 31 of Mississippi' Administrative Code, which limit EMS personnel to providing care to patients located in "non-hospital settings." The Order temporarily lifts this restriction and allows these personnel to provide hospital care while not on duty with a licensed EMS agency and only within their respective scope of practice as set forth in the Mississippi EMS Laws, Rules and Regulations and as detailed in the National EMS Scope of Practice Model (https://www.ems.gov/pdf/National_EMS_Scope_of_Practice_Model_2019.pdf) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This change to EMS providers' scope of practice is effective for the duration of Governor Reeves' State of Emergency Declaration, which was recently extended 30 days on August 12th. The Order will hopefully provide an additional avenue of relief to Mississippi hospitals as they continue to face staffing issues in light of the State's rising COVID-19 cases.
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