April 2017 - Community Paramedicine
Bringing health care service to your doorstep
Community paramedicine is a fairly new health care delivery model, with programs both nationally and internationally. A community paramedic helps reduce health care costs by providing services in the recipient's home, including both basic and preventive care. Collaboration between primary care providers, including home health nursing, and community paramedics improves access to care and fills gaps in the health care system.
Medicaid Services Manual Chapter 600 was updated this past July with the addition of services for community paramedicine. The Division of Health Care Financing and Policy (DHCFP) will reimburse providers for medically necessary community paramedicine services that aid the medically underserved. This will assist in closing patient care gaps in a local health care system, preventing duplication of services, and decreasing unnecessary ambulance responses, emergency room visits and hospital admissions. A community paramedic can be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) or a paramedic with the additional endorsement for community paramedicine from Nevada's Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH), State EMS Program.
Community paramedics are involved in evaluation/health assessment, chronic disease prevention, monitoring and education, medication compliance, immunizations and vaccinations, laboratory specimen collection, hospital discharge follow-up care, as well as administration of minor medical procedures and home safety assessments. The community paramedic's service location can be an originating site for telehealth services. All such services are first identified in a care plan between the recipient's primary care provider and the designated community paramedicine agency.
Throughout the development of the policy, the DHCFP conducted provider workshops, gaining valuable stakeholder input into the design and development of services and the reimbursement process. Providers participated in enrollment training in northern and southern Nevada with the assistance of the DHCFP's fiscal vendor, DXC Technology (formerly Hewlett Packard Enterprises). The division has also worked in partnership with the DPBH State EMS Program, providing guidance and input into the adoption of state regulations and endorsements of community paramedicine services. The DHCFP has also provided outreach to rural health EMS providers at the annual Emergency Preparedness Summit. Throughout 2017, more providers will have access to enrollment training programs.