Livingston County Ambulance officials want to bring back the paramedics program that ended two years ago.
Community paramedics, and not just help in emergencies, will do things like call home, assess health and care, and help doctors, social services, and public health initiatives in ways that are usually beyond their job description. .
The goal of the program is to reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency department, hospitalizations, and re-hospitalizations.
Earlier this month, Livingston County Council of Commissioners voted to allow EMS to apply for a community aid grant of up to $ 76,000 through St. Joseph Mercy Livingston and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospitals.
EMS Director Dave Feldpausch said the grant would restart the program by the end of the year with one paramedic, and in order to continue working, long-term funding sources would need to be secured. The program was curtailed in 2019 due to financial constraints.
“My vision of this is to address the big health issues facing the community, and ultimately use parts of other community models to see what is most needed in Livingston County. We are still doing a lot of background work, ”Feldpausch said.
He said it envisages a paramedics program that will address public health initiatives. As an example, he pointed to collaboration with the county health department at an infusion clinic for the treatment of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of COVID-19.
He said programs in some other communities send paramedics to people’s homes. Patients can be referred by hospitals, doctors and social services.
“Community paramedics can go home and conduct an assessment and make sure these patients are in line with treatment plans and if there are any obstacles in their homes to implementing the treatment plan,” he said.
Feldpausch said the grant would cover only part of the costs, but health insurance companies and health care providers could enter into an agreement to reimburse EMS for services that do not allow patients to get to the hospital.
Medicare is testing a federal funding model that includes reimbursing the cost of ambulance services for delivering patients to alternative locations rather than ambulance services, including ambulances and doctor’s offices.
“Currently, they do not compensate for everything,” said Feldpausch. “There are some federal funding models that allow you to reimburse the cost of transporting patients to the emergency room and consider the non-traditional roles of paramedics. All of this will be driven by this, and we want to be prepared for that.”
EMS will apply for the Investment in Our Communities grant program offered by St. Joseph Mercy Livingston and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to NGOs and local governments.
“Funds should be directed to public purposes,” the program said in a statement.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jennifer_timar.