In a fundamental shift in how emergency medical services are delivered, several Massachusetts ambulance companies are branching into home health care, reports The Boston Globe.
Rather than just responding to emergencies and sending patients to emergency rooms, paramedics – as part of a pilot program – are treating patients where they live.
The idea is to expand the paramedic’s role to a provider who not only responds to emergencies but also helps prevent them, treating patients with infections, minor wounds, injuries from falls, and problems associated with chronic diseases like diabetes and congestive heart failure. It could reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital stays, which can cost thousands of dollars, according to The Boston Globe.
Dorchester, MA-based EasCare LLC is set to be one of the first ambulatory providers to take on this initiative, launching a pilot program with 2,000 patients of Commonwealth Care Alliance, a Greater Boston network of providers that serves the elderly, poor, and disabled.
The move toward paramedicine, or integrated mobile health care, comes in response to state and federal laws — including the Affordable Care Act — that are pressuring the health care industry to control costs, the article stated.