Rep. Shankland's Community Paramedic Bill Signed by Gov. Walker

By WSAU News

MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) recently had a bill she co-authored signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker. The legislation creates Community Paramedic and EMS programs throughout Wisconsin.

Rep. Shankland explains what exactly a Community Paramedic would do.

She said, "They operate in a non-emergency setting under the medical direction of a physician to help patients with chronic conditions or other issues that really aren't emergency issues, but will help mitigate any emergencies in the future."

Rep. Shankland says the goal is to cut down a patient's visits to the doctor for non-emergency issues and to cut down on the cost for those doctor visits.

"Now as taxpayers and anyone with insurance knows, when you have people who tend to go to the hospital for things that otherwise could've been done in their home it does cost more," said Shankland.

Rep. Shankland says the new law isn't limited to just cities. She says counties could take advantage of it and even just hospitals if they'd like to as well.

Rep. Shankland says the law just sets the guidelines and cities or counties or hospitals can decide how exactly they would like to run the program. Shankland says she's also very proud that the bill does not cost tax payers anything.