As the healthcare system turns to a more value-based care focus, EMS leaders strive to adjust to this trend. Aligned with the EMS Agenda For The Future, a growing strategy in the industry has been Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH): a patient-centered approach that offers care through mobile resources in out-of-hospital environments.
Community Paramedicine is a popular MIH initiative. However, the program represents an approach involving many branches of the healthcare system. These branches can include traditional EMS response, advanced practice provider responders, 911 nurse triage lines, and alternate destination/ER diversion.
Regardless of the initiative, MIH aims to deliver higher-quality, more cost-effective medical care. The program’s strategy is to coordinate resources and help patients get the proper care at the right location. That can include educating patients on better care for themselves in their homes.
Funding an MIH Program
As the healthcare cost continues to rise while the U.S. population’s health declines, healthcare payers are changing their reimbursement standards. Commercial and governmental payers begin transitioning from a fee-for-service payment model linked to the quantity of care provided to a payment model linked to the quality of care provided and measurable patient outcomes.
Some funding sources for Mobile Integrated Healthcare initiatives are:
- Partnership with hospitals, hospices, Home Health Providers, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and Mental Health Programs.
- Contracts with Commercial Insurances.
- Grants and charitable contributions.
- Internal funding by the governmental agency or EMS provider.
Benefits of an MIH Program
A Mobile Integrated Healthcare program can be highly beneficial for a city, county, hospital district, or Emergency Service District (ESD). Reduced unnecessary emergency visits, reduced hospital readmission rates, and budget and time economy are some benefits EMS providers who have implemented an MIH program have experienced.
Even operating an MIH program with internal funding can result in money saved. A city near San Antonio conducted a cost analysis and identified that the attention given by MIH paramedics to five high-utilizer patients saved the city approximately 150 thousand dollars in one year. Additionally, the MIH program allowed their ambulances to be available for emergency calls, increasing community safety.
EMERGICON’s network of EMS agencies includes many innovative providers who are finding creative ways to implement MIH and CP programs for the benefit of their communities. If you’d like to learn more about what they are doing specifically, contact EMERGICON’s EMS & Client Hotline: 866-839-3671 | email@example.com.