Friday, January 28, 2022

Conditional COPCN Suggested By Advisory Board

The city’s quest to control their own standards for emergency medical services, along with providing patients with emergency hospital transport, went before the Collier County Emergency Medical Authority Advisory Board on May 1. The city received a 3-2 vote in favor of their application.

That application, however, has to go before the Collier County Board of Commissioners later this month.

The approval is a “conditional one,” which will require the city meets a number of stipulations. Those stipulations will be provided to the Collier Commissioners later in May.

Marco Island Fire Rescue personnel who are certified paramedics within the State of Florida are restricted from administering lifesaving medications to patients unless they are accompanied by a Collier County paramedic. Both professionals have to attend the same classes, pass the same examinations and maintain the same skill levels, but to date the Medical Director has denied that same privilege to the equally qualified Marco Island medic, unless in the presence of a Collier County medic.

It is unclear whether the Medical Director would lift that restriction as part of the “Conditional Approval.”

The administration of some of those medications can mean the difference in the success of the medical care given a patient. Many times Collier County personnel may not be present due to travel time to the scene, or because of concurrent calls that require extended travel time to the scenes of emergencies.

The legislature passed a special bill last session which would give the city the right to bypass the local process required to receive their own COPCN (Certificate of Public Need and Convenience), which would allow them to be licensed to provide the pre-hospital emergency care and transport that is presently being provided by Collier County.

Three conditions were required by that legislation:

  •   Submit the application to the county.
  •   Have a third party do a financial analysis.
  •   Hold a referendum.

The referendum is scheduled in conjunction with the August primary and the question will appear on that ballot for the voters’ approval.

The Collier County Board of Commissioners will take up the issue at its May 22 meeting to be held in the Commission Chambers beginning at 9 AM.

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