COLUMBUS—State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) has introduced House Bill 426, which will expands the options for the transportation of non-emergent hospice patients.

Under current law, ambulances are the only vehicles that are qualified to transport patients who must remain in the supine position. To prevent a disruption in the normal flow of ambulance vehicles and to ensure adequate coverage for their services, non-emergent hospice transportation is commonly forced to the bottom of the priority list. Even when an ambulance can be allocated for non-emergent transport, patients are charged hundreds to thousands of dollars for their use.

“The goal of this bill is to alleviate the complicated and time consuming practices that hospice centers currently undergo to contract out emergent vehicles,” said Wiggam. “In order to do this, this bill expands the options within ambulance licensure requirements in order to permit alternative methods of transportation for non-emergent patients.”

The House Bill 426 transportation expansion options for non-emergent patients include a “Hospice Transportation Vehicle” that will secure supine-bound patients safely for transport and provide secure seats for additional passengers accompanying the patient. The oversight rule development of these vehicles will fall under the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services.

This legislation specifies the qualifications that a patient must meet in order to be transported as well as the requirements for a hospice program to be licensed and permitted to operate an HTV.

“This bill will not only improve the comfort and quality of life of these patients, but also the efficiency and productivity of pre-existing limited emergent resources,” said Wiggam.

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