National Survey finds EMS-based MIH-CP cost-effective

Jun 3, 2015 by

The American healthcare system is often described as simultaneously inefficient and of lower quality. The emergency medical services (EMS) community has responded with a move towards mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) programs which will address community health problems in a broader and more innovative way. The goal is for EMS to coordinate with various agencies within a community to not only respond to 911 calls but also to prevent them before they occur. This specified approach to healthcare services has demonstrated cost-savings by providing patient-centered operations based on population need.

EMS1 reported on a survey conducted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has found this to be largely true: 81% of MIH-CP programs in operation for two or more years reported lowered costs by reducing 911-call use and providing specialized services. 96% of MIH-CP programs agreed that the volume of patients served would increase within the next five years. But despite the reported positivity, the financial outlook of MIH-CP programs is not positive.

The current reimbursement models for EMS agencies is based on transportation rather than medical services provided. Many private, and even public, organizations struggle to fund operations and are reliant on Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. MIH-CP programs are only billable in one state; as a result, only 36% of programs report that they are generating revenue.

But both the New York state and Senate have come out with matching bills to promote community paramedicine. NYMIHA fully supports both of these bills, which serve to bring down the legal and regulatory barriers to EMS innovation that have previously limited MIH-CP programs. To learn more about this, read the following NYMIHA post and join NYMIHA for more news.

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