Fraudulent Paramedic Credentials a Growing Problem
Paramedic licensing fraud continues to be a large problem across California because of inadequate oversight from the state Emergency Medical Services Authority, the Sacramento Bee reports.
A Bee investigation found delays in state licensing penalties and no criminal prosecution of unqualified paramedic applicants who issue false training records, classes they never attended, or someone else's license number.
EMSA Director Cesar Aristeiguieta said that license fraud is not a large problem in California. He also said that when there is a case of fraud, the agency has been slow to enforce penalties because of staff constraints.
According to the Bee, a lack of state oversight has left responsibility for uncovering fraud to local public health agencies, fire departments and private ambulance companies. Fraud is usually uncovered by accident, suggesting that the problem is worse than the state reports, the Bee reports.
Paramedics accused of fraud typically said they did not have enough time to attain the 40 hours of continuing education required every two years, because heavy workloads and odd hours make scheduling classes difficult (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 1/29).