(2 min read) The current emergency medical services (EMS) economic model follows a pay-per-transport system. Insurance agencies and patients have long been wondering whether this is the best method for pre-hospital care. The COVID-19 public health emergency has become a catalyst for communications centers and EMS agencies to explore more progressive practices.
Matt Zavadsky, Chief Transformation Officer at MedStar Mobile Healthcare, spoke on this topic in a recent webinar hosted by ZOLL® Data Systems. Does the current model make a difference in the patient’s outcome? Are we able to prove that this model not only enhances the patient outcome and experience of care, but saves the payer money? Matt Zavadsky details real-life examples of how EMS agencies can be utilized more efficiently and thus provide more value to patients and payers, and how communications centers are playing a significant role in aiding this transformation — thus bringing more value to each community.
Low acuity complaints from a 911 call, such as a child’s fever, are currently transported to an emergency room, where it’s likely the patient will wait for a significant period of time before seeing a doctor. The bill for this call will include an ambulance transport, Emergency Room visit, physician bill, and a lab bill — which can add up to $5,000 or more.
In a more patient-centric scenario, the communications center will have a nurse or an advanced practitioner on hand to assess a low-acuity complaint like this. They can send a community paramedic to this call, or they can assess their condition using telemedicine. These types of services cut out the ambulance bill, the ER bill, and — potentially — the lab’s bill. The payer’s value increases, and the patient has an enhanced experience through decreased time spent within the healthcare system and, in all likelihood, reduced financial responsibility for their portion of the bill.
To learn more about how progressive changes to communications centers will benefit communities, watch our complimentary webinar, The Critical Role of Communications Centers in the EMS Transformation, featuring Matt Zavadsky.