Quality Insights and Community Paramedicine Partners See Success with First Year of Project

1/4/2019

Quality Insights and its community paramedicine partners from several counties have seen significant impact on West Virginia communities as a result of a project initiated last year.According to data provided from the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority (KCEAA), community paramedics have helped approximately 195 patients resolve social or medical issues, including necessary home repairs, vital medical interventions and education about patient health. This was accomplished during 301 home visits. Community paramedics also completed more than 272 medication reconciliations, which is a process of ensuring that a patient’s medication list is as up-to-date as possible — including drug name, dosage, frequency and route – and working with the patient’s doctor to make any necessary adjustments.

Quality Insights also partnered with KCEAA, Partners in Health Network and Jan Care to produce two educational videos on the impact of community paramedicine in West Virginia.

Quality Insights anticipates a return on investment of approximately $400,000 through the reduction of readmissions and emergency department visits.

Quality Insights launched the project in 2017 to help emergency medical service (EMS) providers offer expanded care to people with Medicare who live in West Virginia. This form of expanded care - often referred to as mobile integrated health care services or community paramedicine (CP) – is delivered by nationally-registered paramedics who have received additional training.

A community paramedic may address both clinical and social needs. Community paramedics can provide home safety assessments, triage and referral services, chronic disease management education, support for family caregivers, medication compliance support, vaccinations and more.

The goal of the collaboration has been to lessen unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency department visits while enhancing access to quality care for the state’s most vulnerable and rural residents. Funding for the project was provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“It’s our hope that this project can show the positive impact of community paramedicine, not just for the patient, but also for the health care industry as a whole,” Biddy Smith, Network Task Lead for Special Projects at Quality Insights, said. “We want patients to understand how it can help improve their quality of life and we want providers to understand how it’s filling critical gaps in an effective and efficient way.”

For more information about this project, contact Biddy Smith at bsmith@qualityinsights.org, or call (304) 346-9864, ext. 3252.