First up in this week’s news is a story on how medical professionals outside of standard healthcare channels are changing the way healthcare is delivered. This is over at the Reporting on Health site where journalists cover a variety of healthcare topics. This is one of the first I’ve seen there to cover EMS care, though.

EMS Helping Control Healthcare Costs

Ambulances-Entrance-Emergency-DepartmentAs healthcare costs continue to rise at a rate greater than other common consumer costs, up to $2.8 trillion dollars, all areas of healthcare are called by leaders to change the way we provide care to control costs. Non-traditional health channels like EMS providers and pharmacists are just some of the ways that systems out there are looking at cutting patient care costs. They’re not doing this by cutting EMS care but by expanding EMS care.

The ReportingOnHealth.org article talks about the things that MedStar is doing in Fort Worth, Texas to deal with lessening the use of the system by so-called frequent flyers of EMS care. I’ve interviewed Matt Zavadsky from MedStar before here on the show on numerous times.

Medstar Mobile Healthcare Featured

Matt told the reporter about the early success of their EMS loyalty program that has reduced the use of EMS and 911 calls by frequent flyers by up to 82 percent. They use a combined group of paramedics and nurses to manage those needy patients in ways that address their needs and concerns while not transporting them to the hospital.

Their program has also lessened the number of hospital readmissions which has lessened readmission penalties for hospitals involved. In one case, they found that a patient was simply afraid of riding public transportation causing him to use 911 to get from one end of town to the other. Since their program helped him be more comfortable riding public transportation safely, he’s been EMS free for almost a year. That’s a success story I can get behind.

What is your system doing to combat frequent flyers in your area? Maybe you need to contact Matt at MedStar and get some components of their system implemented in your area.

Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Common Household Poisonings and Episode 398.

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