Washington D.C. Repeals Medical Direction Requirement
A welcome change for the AED industry.
The District repealed its so-called medical direction requirement. As a result of this positive change, AED programs no longer need to involve a DC licensed physician to “oversee all aspects of the defibrillation program, including training, coordination with the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (“Department”), protocol approval, AED deployment strategies, and equipment maintenance plan, and shall review each case in which the AED is used by the program.”
Requirements Retained: Though these regulatory burdens have no impact on AED program preparation or performance, the District’s AED laws continue to require that:
• Facility coordinators receive training
• AEDs be properly maintained
• AED users call 911 as soon as possible
• AED programs notify the fire department and 911 dispatch centers of AED placements
AED Purchase Incentive Program (new): Under a new provision, the Mayor may optionally, and if certain conditions are met, issue rebates of up to $400 for the purchase of publicly accessible AEDs. The measure includes a $750 per building cap on rebates.
Proponents of this approach believe it will significantly increase the number of AEDs deployed. Given the upfront and ongoing costs associated with AED ownership, it seems unlikely a one-time $400 incentive payment will spur a large number of new AED programs. Kudos, however, for getting the rebate passed. Time will tell what impact a program like this might have.