State Policy: COVID-19

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TEMSA asked Governor Abbott to extend licensing for EMS agencies and personnel until August 31, 2020. Click here to view EMS’s request: EMS Request – COVID-19 final

TEMSA asked state officials to ensure that EMS agencies are part of PPE allocations. Click here to view TEMSA’s request: EMS & PPE – 03.25.20

TEMSA thanked Governor Abbott for his EMS waivers and asked for several more items. Click here to view TEMSA’s 04.01.20 letter:
EMS Waivers – 04.01.20 – Texas EMS Alliance

State Lawmakers’ Response

Click here to view Rep. Four Price’s request for Texas HHSC to allocate additional Medicaid funds to Texas EMS agencies.

Click here to view Rep. Trent Ashby’s HHSC request.

Click here to view Rep. Phil Cortez’s HHSC request.

Click here to view Rep. Mary Ann Perez’s HHSC request.

Click here to view HHSC’s response to Rep. Steve Allison.

Frontline Child Care

Click here to learn more.

DSHS & Educational Programs

Click here to view DSHS’s April 22, 2020, announcement:
Texas EMS Education Programs 4-22-2020-Final

Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders & Waivers

Click here to view Governor Abbott’s 03.31.20 executive order.

Click here to learn more about the EMS waiver.

Click here to view the list of EMS professionals who are ready to graduate early.

First Responders & Workers’ Comp

Click here to view an overview of Texas Workers’ Comp in relation to COVID-19 for EMS professionals (7.16.20).

Click here to view TDI-DWC’s waiver of certain testing and reporting requirements (4.11.20).

Click here to view OIEC’s information related to first responders who have come in contact with a communicable disease.

Per OIEC:

Tex Gov Code Sec. 607.002.  REIMBURSEMENT.

A public safety employee who is exposed to a contagious disease is entitled to reimbursement from the employing governmental entity for reasonable medical expenses incurred in treatment for the prevention of the disease if:

(1)  the disease is not an “ordinary disease of life” as that term is used in the context of a workers’ compensation claim;

(2)  the exposure to the disease occurs during the course of the employment;  and

(3)  the employee requires preventative medical treatment because of exposure to the disease.

The issue is ordinary disease of life. The injured employee would have to prove they’re at an increased risk.

There is presumption for “other respiratory illness” in Tex Gov Code Sec. 607.054 which provides “any other disease or illness of the lungs or respiratory tract that has a statistically positive correlation with service as a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician, that results in death or total or partial disability is presumed.”

Depending on the disease, a medical expert opinion may be needed to prove the statistically positive correlation.

Texas Medical Board

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) issued new emergency guidance related to telehealth and the fast-tracking of licenses under the TMB’s control. Click here to read more.

Reporting Persons Under Investigation & Other Information

Click here for the Texas Medical Association’s toolkit.

Texas Workforce Commission

Click here to view the Texas Workforce Commission’s FAQ sheet:
Texas Workforce Commission – Coronavirus_FAQs_Resources 3.18.20