Monday, July 11, 2016

Emergency Medical Services Providing Lifesaving Drug for Opioid Overdoses

From The Oklahoma State Department of Health 
Information on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose
Office of Communications
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In November 2014, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) initiated a program to expand naloxone availability and use among emergency medical personnel across Oklahoma as part of a comprehensive program to reduce opioid drug overdose deaths. Naloxone is a lifesaving medication which can reverse an overdose if given in time. Today, more than 800 EMS personnel have been trained on the use of naloxone. Agencies have reported 42 lives saved. The number of lives saved is expected to grow as the program continues to expand through 2016.

Poisoning by prescription drugs is Oklahoma’s largest drug problem. Of the more than 5,300 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007 to 2014, nearly 80 percent involved at least one prescription drug and almost 90 percent of those deaths involved prescription painkillers, also known as opioids. In recent years, the number of unintentional poisoning deaths surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes. More unintentional poisoning deaths were caused by hydrocodone or oxycodone, both prescription painkillers, than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined. Adults ages 35-54 have the highest death rate of any age group for prescription overdoses.

Accidental poisoning from prescription painkillers can happen to people in any age group and from all walks of life. The scenarios listed below are just a few examples of the lifesaving impact of naloxone.
A toddler was at home with his parents and ingested oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, which was sitting on a coffee table. The toddler started becoming unresponsive and the parents called 911. Upon arrival of emergency personnel, the toddler was barely breathing and turning blue. Emergency medical personnel administered naloxone. In less than one minute the toddler was regaining color and breathing normally.
A middle-aged man went to the dentist for a procedure and was given tramadol for pain control. He was in significant pain and took more pills than were prescribed; 911 was called when he experienced problems. Upon arrival at the scene, first responders found the patient turning blue and going in and out of consciousness. First responders administered naloxone, and within two minutes, the patient was responsive and alert.
An older adult female had undergone back surgery the day before and was sent home with hydromorphone, an opioid painkiller. A family member found her lying on the sofa and not breathing well. An empty pill bottle was also found lying nearby. EMS was called and administered naloxone upon arrival. Within two minutes, the woman was responsive and breathing again.

These are just a few of the many faces of prescription drug-related poisonings in Oklahoma and a snapshot of how naloxone can save lives. Naloxone can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly or intranasally. Naloxone is inexpensive and effective. It has no abuse potential and does not cause harm when administered in the case of a non-opioid overdose.

The EMS naloxone program is providing a life-saving measure to help counter the drug overdose epidemic in Oklahoma. For more information on naloxone availability, including ways individuals at risk can get a naloxone kit for home use, visit

For more information about the EMS naloxone program and prescription drug overdose prevention, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or visit

For help finding treatment referrals, call 211. To report illegal distribution or diversion of prescription drugs, call the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control at 1-800-522-8031.

This EMS naloxone project is supported in part by federal dollars from the Preventive Health Services division within Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # 2B01DP009043).

Copyright © 2016 State of Oklahoma

Help Desk | Policies | About Oklahoma's Web Portal | Feedback | Accessibility

Oklahoma Chosen to Develop Value-Based Approaches to Medicaid Reimbursement for FQHC

This is interesting good time to interduce community paramedicine.  
Office of Communications
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Oklahoma has been selected as one of six states to participate in the National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) Value-Based Payment Reform Academy. The goal of this academy is to develop value-based alternative payment methodologies for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) that align with states’ goals for transforming how care is delivered.

NASHP is a 28-year old non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to working with states across branches and agencies to advance, accelerate and implement workable policy solutions that address major healthcare issues.

A joint application was submitted by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), the Oklahoma Primary Care Association (OKPCA), representatives from two FQHCs (Variety Care, Inc., which is an urban-based FQHC and The Health & Wellness Center Stigler, Eufaula, Sallisaw and Checotah, which is a rural-based FQHC) and a representative of RHCs (Mercy Hospital Logan County). These core team members will receive technical assistance from the Policy Academy on cost-based, risk-adjusted reimbursement methodologies as it would apply to FQHCs and RHCS.

Unlike other providers, FQHCs and RHCs have no ability to manage risks through a reduced patient panel and cannot withdraw from Medicaid. Additionally, FQHC costs associated with delivering health care to uninsured individuals is much greater due to the many case management services involved (transportation, translation, health education/literacy, etc.) to address social determinants of health that have a severe impact on patient outcomes for the underserved population.

Core team members will receive support and access to expert consultation from national, federal, and state leaders as they analyze what an alternative payment methodology (APM) must include to sustain FQHC and RHC operations while enabling the achievement of the triple aim to lower costs, improve outcomes and enhancing patient experiences.

Participation in this Policy Academy complements the state’s recent efforts with a State Innovation Model (SIM) design grant. With the aid of this grant, the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan Coalition, through OSDH, engaged a multitude of stakeholders to collaboratively develop a plan to transform the state’s healthcare payment and delivery system from a fee-for-service payment system to value-based payment system that emphasizes primary prevention strategies. Core team members of the Policy Academy played an instrumental role in the development of this State Health System Innovation Plan.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Crescent forced to shut down ambulance services

When are we going to do something? The Health Department has no leadership; The Oklahoma Ambulance Association has fought reform for nine years; EMSA lobbies to kill anything that will help rural services; OKAMA and EMSA have said services that have a hard time should be shut down, and no resources should be used to help. They hold secret meetings to change the grant program that should help at-risk services; (which by the way I think is not legal, I need to get an Attorney General opinion on the matter). We are in a race to the bottom, just take a look at the new rules. EMSA along with OKAMA worked to pass a bill that would make sure almost everything they do has no accountability. The EMS Director says that collecting data to understand the problems facing EMS is not their job. (It's in law that this is their job, but Dale disputes this, you can read it for yourself and see what you think). The long and short of the matter is the public and those who work and care about EMS have to get involved. I know I will be called everything in the book for posting the truth from those that think they run the system and have high paid lobbyist (that we pay for with our tax dollars by the way) and have contempt for anyone that questions them. So I would like you to know I can prove every word of this post. Look for more to come.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I am Back.

Hello everyone, sorry I have not kept up this page or the website as some of you know I have had a bit of a health problem as of late, while not yet out of the woods things are getting better and I am just glad to be alive. I have to belive everyday in every way things are getting better. Anyway, I am back and I hope to start to give you the information you need about EMS. Look for a few post soon. Thanks enjoy the day! Rodney

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 EMS Bills Introduced In Oklahoma

This year at the capitol there are a total of ten bills dealing with Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Everything from funding to opioid antagonists. Bills deal with the emergency medical personal death benefit, education, ambulance districts, transparency, stretcher aid vans, officers and deputies, training and civil liability and two shell bills, EMS dispatch and rural EMS funding. 

The most important bill this year is the Ambulance Service Districts Act. It would give rural areas the ability to combine funding and form a regional ambulance district. With the state budget at a shortfall and more cuts coming, any help for the state looks far way. Rural Oklahoma has to have options to use what EMS dollars are available. The EMS Survival Act has state-supported funding, but will find a very hard time this year.

EMS education reform that calls for a standard in EMS advanced programs is in the EMS Survival Act so it will also find it hard this year.

Two bills dealing with the emergency medical personal death benefit. They would incense the benefit amount to ten thousand dollars and dedicate interest from the fund be put back into the fund. Emergency medical personal pay for the benefit each time they renew licenses and by buying a EMT tag.

The most interesting bill is one that would keep everything a EMS service does closed for review by the public. When reading the definition of medical control this could be an outcome. Transparency questions with follow this bill. Stretcher aid vans and how they work are also addressed in this bill.

Another bill would shield only ambulance authorities and employees from liability for any act by omission or committed while in training for, or in the rendering of life support services.

Bills that would allow, county officers and deputies to serve as an Emergency Medical Technicians and a first-responders ability to administer opioid antagonists, rounds out the list. Along with two shell bills.

For More Information Go to

There was an error in this gadget

Search This Blog