SEMSCO Community Paramedicine TAG
September 23, 2012
TO: The SEMSCO Community
FROM: Steven Kroll
SUBJECT: Technical Advisory Group on Community Paramedicine
Over the last several months there has been considerable discussion of the concept of community paramedicine, both in New York and throughout the nation. Cities and states outside of New York State have begun paramedicine programs, enabling legislation and regulation has been established, and educational curriculums have been defined.
Community paramedicine has been a topic of frequent conversation at the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and the State Emergency Medical Services Council (SEMSCO). In at least two instances, New York State EMS agencies have proposed community pilot programs for their communities. At least one large integrated health care delivery system is considering a community paramedicine initiative within their system. However, there is a significant amount of work that must be done before the potential for the widespread use of community paramedicine can be realized in New York State.
While community paramedicine shows great promise for improving population health, saving the health care system money, and enhancing the quality of care, the statutory framework for EMTs and Paramedics in New York State is designed for and perhaps limited to traditional emergency medical responses and transportation.
For that reason, the SEMSCO will be establishing a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to begin consideration of community paramedicine and opportunities for its application in New York State. I have been given the privilege or organizing and leading this TAG.
To begin this journey, I have listed several questions that I believe a TAG should consider in navigating a path towards community paramedicine in New York State:
- Define the concept of community paramedicine.
- Explain how community paramedicine ties to the Triple Aim of improved quality, better health, and reduced health care costs.
- How does community paramedicine fit into the current health care reform environment that is asking providers to take risk and shifting payment away from units of service?
- What is happening in other states. What are the different settings where community paramedicine is being implemented. Is their evidence that community paramedicine has been successful?
- Can we define community paramedicine for New York State in common nomenclature?
- What are the regulatory and legislative barriers to community paramedicine? What regulatory and legislative changes would be needed to allow community paramedicine?
- What would be an appropriate demonstration project in NYS?
- What is the business case for health care providers and payers to support community paramedicine?
The membership of the TAG will be assembled over the next several weeks and will include members of the Council and relevant Council committees, as well as other members of the health care community. If you are interested in being part of the TAG, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The TAG will begin its work in October with a series of conference calls. An in-person meeting will hopefully be scheduled in conjunction with the January 2013 SEMSCO meeting.
In addition to the SEMSCO community, there are a number of interested parties that have expressed interest in community paramedicine. The New York City Paramedicine Task Force — soon to be the New York Paramedicine Task Force — has been meeting for months and will have valuable input to the TAG. The Greater New York Hospital Association and Healthcare Association of New York State have also expressed interest and will provide valuable input.