ACEP-Championed EMS Bill Becomes Law

11/17/2017 Today, President Trump signed into law the ACEP-supported “Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016” (H.R. 304).

ACEP has been working on this legislation since 2015 in response to a DEA letter that questioned the legality of standing orders in EMS. This led ACEP to establish and lead a coalition of EMS-affiliated organizations that developed, promoted, and secured enactment of this important law.

The bill would ensure continued access to pain and anti-seizure medications for patients suffering medical emergencies. It will explicitly permit physician medical directors to issue standing orders to EMS personnel, so they may administer controlled substances to their patients. In addition, the legislation clarifies and codifies who is authorized to provide verbal orders for controlled substances; provides the option for a single EMS agency registration; and clarifies receipt, movement and storage rules for EMS agency controlled substances. The House passed the original bill on January 9 by a vote of 404 to 0, the Senate approved a slightly modified version of the bill on October 24 by unanimous consent, and the House approved Senate-passed bill on November 2 by unanimous consent.