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SIGNED! Bill to Increase Access to Care, Save Patients Money Becomes Law

DENVER, CO –  Today, the Governor signed a bill into law that would establish a 911 Nurse Navigation pilot program to connect 911 callers with an appropriate level of medical care.  

SB21-156, sponsored by Senate President Leroy Garcia, directs the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to create the framework for a 911 nurse navigation pilot program that operates for two years. To do this, the Division would review applications from interested Public Safety Answering Points and choose four communities to pilot the program.

“The cost of healthcare continues to be a major concern for many Coloradans, and emergency care is a significant driver of those costs,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo)“A 911 Nurse Navigation pilot program would help lower costs for consumers, and providers by connecting Coloradans with those who can guide through a care plan that is appropriate for their individual needs.”

This bill would allow the Public Safety Answering Points to forward low acuity calls to registered nurses who then provide a quick patient assessment for life threatening conditions before working directly with the patient to craft a unique care plan. This program has a demonstrated record of success and cost savings in several large cities around the country.

“As a paramedic, I know that an ambulance ride to an emergency department isn’t the appropriate solution for every person who calls 911,” said Garcia, a paramedic and EMS Instructor at Pueblo Community College. “With this law, we can preserve the limited resources of our first responders and our emergency departments, while saving Coloradans money on their healthcare.”