Community paramedics: need of legal education specific to the pre-hospital non-emergency environment (discussion based on Texas)
Emergency medical services (EMS) have responded to the Affordable Care Act's target to reduce healthcare spending and focus on preventative health by developing community paramedicine programmes in the USA. Currently in their infancy, these community paramedicine programmes aim to utilise existing skills and knowledge to combat patient readmission to the emergency department, and empower the public to take control of their healthcare path. Paramedics are taken out of the pre-hospital emergency environment and placed into a new undefined prehospital non-emergency preventative health care territory. As EMS morphs into a preventative healthcare realm in Texas, questions of community paramedicine healthcare designation and legal ramifications arise. Community paramedic knowledge of these healthcare designations and legal ramifications is indispensible to the success of such a programme.
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