Counties Support Creation of Emergency Services Task Force, Request Representation

On February 21, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko submitted testimony to the House Health and Goverment Operations Committee in support of HB 0274 – Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times with amendments.

The Senate Finance Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, SB 0387, on February 23.

HB 0274 calls for the establishment of a study group tasked with identifying best practices for reducing emergency department wait times in the State. The Task Force will analyze just how states with similar demographics to Maryland have managed emergency department staffing, triage, and bed availability. As major players in administering emergency services, counties applaud the intent of this legislation, and ask for representation on the Task Force.

From the MACo Testimony:

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland’s healthcare system has been shaken to its core. Like many areas in the public sector, healthcare providers are contending with a vast array of systemic challenges, including recruitment and retention and supply chain disruptions. Counties are a major stakeholder in the healthcare space, operating or funding a significant amount of emergency medical services transit and providing a large amount of community screening and preventative care. As major stakeholders across multiple components of both emergency service and public infrastructure, counties ask for representation on the Task Force on Reducing Emergency Department Wait Times. Long wait times for emergency departments have a cascading effect on other county medical and emergency services, and therefore counties remain committed to finding a solution and seek to have input as a partner in this important endeavor.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

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