Medicare pilot program would allow ambulances to take patients places other than hospitals
Medicare to begin a program that would pay ambulance companies to transport seniors to non-hospital facilities for primary or urgent care.
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Ambulance companies could be paid by Medicare early next year in a test program to transport seniors to non-hospital facilities, a proposal that partly had its origins in Michigan from Greg Beauchemin, CEO of Southfield-based Community EMS, an ambulance and consulting company.
In 2014, Beauchemin laid out to Crain's an ambitious "mobile health initiative" designed to reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital for patients suffering non-urgent situations, save the health system money and improve outcomes. He discussed the initiative with Medicare officials several years ago when he unsuccessfully applied for a $370,000 innovation grant for the project.
Last week, the Center for Medicare and Medicine Innovations issued a policy that would allow ambulance suppliers and providers to transport Medicare and Medicaid patients to areas besides the emergency room, such as a doctor's office or urgent care facility, or use telemedicine services, in a bid to reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital.
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