COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has established a 20-member task force looking at EMS systems throughout the state.

A law approved in June allows CDPHE to set statewide standards for ground ambulance agencies, similar to the department’s current role with air ambulances.

The law requires a statewide task force to be created to make statutory, rule and policy recommendations. 20 members were appointed this month, featuring a mix of urban and rural areas of Colorado. According to CDPHE, the task force will issue reports and recommendations on consistent statewide standards for ground and air ambulance services, equitable access, staffing and retention, and sustainable funding.

“This group brings together professionals with decades of experience in emergency services,” said Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer, CDPHE. “Coloradans will benefit tremendously from the modernization of our emergency medical services, and I’m looking forward to working with this highly qualified team.”

The task force work will be done in five phases, beginning with recommendations for a new regulatory framework for emergency medical services. The group’s work will culminate by 2027.

CDPHE said that statewide licensing of ground ambulance services through CDPHE will result in consistent protective standards and will ensure better Medicaid reimbursement rates for ground ambulance agencies, as it will follow a regulatory model that meets federal Medicaid guidelines.

The new law will keep the ability of local governments to control the services and negotiate contracts with ground ambulance agencies operating in their jurisdictions.