Emergency medical services (EMS) are an essential component of health care in Texas. Dedicated EMS personnel save countless lives each year. Texas EMS professionals are ready to respond to calls for help, despite the time of day or weather conditions. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) licensing and oversight of EMS personnel and providers helps ensure EMS care provided is safe and meets expected standards. Oversight activities include addressing complaints and conducting investigations, both of which are important measures of quality assurance in the ongoing assessment of EMS.
Because it is crucial for the public to have confidence in EMS, Texas maintains an active system to receive and investigate complaints regarding EMS providers, personnel, and related functions. The number of complaints received and those which needed disciplinary action are low.
Emergency Medical Services Provider Licensing Requirements Report
The EMS Provider Licensing Requirements Report is required by Texas Health and Safety Code Section 773.05713. The most recent report includes information about EMS applications received and disciplinary actions taken against EMS providers in fiscal year 2023. The report must include:
- The total number of applications for EMS provider licenses submitted to DSHS and the number of applications for which licenses were issued or licenses were denied by DSHS.
- The number of EMS provider licenses that were suspended or revoked by DSHS for violations of Sections 773.05711 and 773.05712 and a description of the types of violations that led to the license suspension or revocation.
- The number of occurrences and types of fraud committed by licensed EMS providers related to Sections 773.05711 and 773.05712.
- The number of complaints made against licensed EMS providers for violations of Sections 773.05711 and 773.05712 and a description of the types of complaints.
- The status of any coordination efforts of DSHS and the Texas Medical Board related to Sections 773.05711 and 773.05712.
|Fiscal Year 2023
|Fiscal Year 2021-2022
Emergency Medical Services Complaints and Investigations Report
Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 773.0605 requires DSHS to track and record any complaints received regarding EMS providers and EMS personnel, as well as the investigations and disciplinary actions initiated by DSHS under the Emergency Health Care Act. DSHS must track and refer complaints outside its jurisdiction to other agencies. Statute also requires DSHS to report specific information related to complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions every year.
Complaints are reports received in writing, verbally, or initiated by DSHS staff that allege a licensee has violated one or more of the statutes, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 773 and/or rules, Texas Administrative Code, Part 1, Chapter 157, governing EMS practice. A complaint determined to be within the jurisdiction of DSHS is investigated. If the investigation shows a violation occurred, disciplinary action may be initiated. This disciplinary action can range from a letter of reprimand to revoking a license or certification. The action can also include assessing an administrative penalty.
This report is divided into six sections, one overview section and one for each of the five license types: EMS provider (agency), EMS personnel, EMS education programs, EMS educators, and EMS first responder organizations. If a complaint about an EMS provider includes a complaint about their personnel, the portion of the complaint dealing with personnel is detailed as a separate complaint under the EMS personnel license or certification.
The data include:
- The number of complaints received during the fiscal year,
- Source of the complaint,
- Primary reason and basis alleged for each complaint,
- Number of cases left open at the end of the fiscal year,
- Reason cases were closed including those closed with no action taken, and
- The number of disciplinary actions taken during the fiscal year.
For the purposes of this report, complaints are organized into categories based on the primary allegation identified in the complaint. When a single complaint includes several allegations, it is categorized as the most significant or serious alleged violation.
This report includes data on complaints received, investigations concluded, and disciplinary actions taken during fiscal year 2023.