Using Community Paramedicine Pilot Programs to Effect Change in Healthcare

Using Community Paramedicine Pilot Programs to Effect Change in Healthcare

Article Aug 18, 2017

In their article “Community Paramedicine Pilot Programs: Lessons from Maine,” Karen B. Pearson, MLIS, MA and George Shaler, MPH discuss the growing trend of implementing community paramedicine programs throughout the country and the necessity for pilot CP programs to exist and demonstrate their value.

Pearson and Shaler encourage each program should maintain high standards of care and should be constructed in a way that specifically tailors to each community’s needs in healthcare. If the program can build a database of evidence proving its success, it is likelier that members in legislation will make changes to accommodate for the financial means necessary to sustain community paramedicine.

The article focuses on Maine’s community paramedicine pilot program, examining the process of legislative action needed to authorize it, how strategies were developed and implemented, and the lessons that were learned from the program. The topics discussed should prove to be helpful for other agencies considering implementing their own community paramedicine programs so they can make informed decisions moving forward in the process.

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Daniel Felton discusses how to overcome the legislative hurdles of establishing MIH-CP in your community.
Since medical emergencies comprise 87% of their calls, Albuquerque Fire Department hopes the program will more efficiently address their responses to those calls.
The “Right Care, Right Now” program diverts low acuity 9-1-1 calls to nurses who will point patients in the direction of the appropriate healthcare resources.
South Bend Fire Department hopes to decrease calls from frequent flyers and connect them with the appropriate resources for their health care needs.
A new tool is helping community health centers document and address these factors. 
An Arizona VA program calculates veterans’ risk and uses community paramedics to help them. 
In New York, reforming Medicaid meant looking beyond just healthcare. 
With a few simple steps, Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Health Network improved its reimbursement while keeping patients safe. 
The pilot program has already seen declines in 9-1-1 calls from 'frequent flyer' patients.
The program will help reduce non-emergency calls by allowing EMS personnel to provide primary and follow-up care to people who don't have access to healthcare.
Compensation for MIH care could be coming soon as well. 
The Mobile Community Healthcare program will identify and visit frequent 9-1-1 callers to try to resolve their issues.
The Community CaraMedic Program in Asheville, N.C. is the first in the country to have every staff member board-certified in community paramedicine.
The Charleston County EMS Mobile Crisis program allows patients to speak with a psychiatrist on a video call instead of being transported to the ED.
Quick-fire last-day sessions examine various aspects of running programs.