There are several bills moving through the California legislature that could directly impact health care throughout the state. One of them would allow firefighter paramedics to be able to form certain home health care services that may otherwise be reserved for visiting nurses.
The Sacrameno Bee reported in its news article, Work in health care? Keep an eye on these five California bills that could become law, written by Caitlin Chen:
“Firefighter paramedics could perform services such as home visits, tuberculosis therapy and transportation to mental health or sobering centers rather than to emergency rooms. Opponents of the bill, mainly nurses’ and doctors’ groups, argue that while paramedics are trained in pre-hospital care, they don’t have enough training to perform the medical exams typically performed in hospitals.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, is sponsored by the the California Professional Firefighters and has additional support from the American Civil Liberties Union and other firefighting groups.”
There could be a number of benefits to allowing firefighter paramedics to perform certain medical processes in the homes of elderly and disabled people, especially those who may struggle to get to hospitals or doctors’ offices, but this can also provide increased challenges for training purposes.
Home health care support services can be an invaluable asset for those aging seniors and disabled adults who may otherwise struggle to get adequate care and support in the comfort of their home.
What can easily be overlooked with this legislation, though, is the overarching changes in perception about people receiving adequate support and medical care at home rather than a doctor’s visit or hospital setting. Hospitals and doctors have been understanding the importance of home care, especially in reducing readmission rates and helping patients when they are discharged.
While numerous states have been grappling with budget constraints and other fiscal challenges, they have begun turning to home care as a more cost-effective option than nursing home settings. With this type of legislation being pushed through the California legislature, it may indicate a more fervent position on what types of care and support –including medical exams and other services– residents may be able to receive without having to visit their doctor directly or be admitted to a hospital.
As more seniors and disabled adults begin receiving direct medical care at home, the value of home care aides and other basic services may also increase as a result.