STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1266
RE: H.B. No. 1281
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1281, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish a four-year transfer of certain duties, functions, and powers relating to emergency medical services for the City and County of Honolulu from the Department of Health to the City and County of Honolulu;
(2) Begin transition of the training and billing for emergency services on July 1, 2021;
(3) Appropriate general funds to the City and County of Honolulu for emergency medical services for fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023;
(4) Appropriate half of the monies in the emergency medical services special fund to the general fund for fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023; and
(5) Phase out state funding for emergency medical services in the City and County of Honolulu by June 30, 2025.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health and Hawaii Medical Service Association. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General; Honolulu Emergency Services Department; United Public Workers, AFSCME Local 646, AFL-CIO; and one individual.
Your Committee finds that currently, most costs for emergency medical services (EMS) are negotiated by the counties and paid by the State. The total cost of operating a statewide comprehensive EMS system now exceeds $100,000,000. This measure creates a cost-sharing model for EMS services between the State and counties with population of greater than five hundred thousand residents.
Your Committee notes the testimony of the Department of Health, which proposed multiple amendments that reflects consensus language between the Department of Health and City and County of Honolulu administrators (City) that would facilitate the transition of EMS services from the State to the City while ensuring no lapse in EMS services.
Therefore, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting a start date of July 1, 2021, for the four-year transition of EMS services from the State to the City;
(2) Ensuring that the State funds EMS services for the City from the general funds, to transition from one hundred percent funding in the first year to zero percent in the fourth year;
(3) Establishing a perpetual ceiling on state financial support to City EMS services;
(4) Updating existing law to authorize the City to have autonomous control over its EMS system but allowing it to continue to participate in systemwide activities;
(5) Authorizing the City to propose new EMS-related services and enhance revenue; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1281, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1281, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Ways and Means and Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health,
JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair