Minnesota could have within several years several hundred practicing “community paramedics,” a new designation of health care providers spawned by the shortage of doctors and nurses in rural parts of the state.
Once certified, community paramedics can deal with a range of non-emergency health care needs that otherwise, for example, might send people unnecessarily to the emergency room and wind up costing more.
Minnesota is the first state in the country to establish the new classification under law. Some officials hope that as many as 20 percent of the state’s 2,200 paramedics will obtain the certification.
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