Healthcare Costs Are A Growing Concern Essay

Healthcare Costs Are A Growing Concern Essay

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In the United States, healthcare costs are a growing concern. Historical data validates this concern and projects healthcare costs will continue to increase. According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in 2014, the National Health Expenditure grew 5.3% to $3.0 trillion or $9,523 per person and accounted for 17.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2014, Medicare and Medicaid spending grew 5.5% and 11.0% respectively. Private health insurance spending grew 1.3% and the out-of-pocket spending grew 4.1%. Refer to appendix A for more historical data and projections (NHE Fact Sheet).
You may be asking yourself, how does this data relate to Emergency Medical Services (EMS)? EMS has become an important component in the healthcare continuum. Many patients with acute or chronic illnesses are utilizing ambulance services more than before and are being transported to hospital emergency departments. This creates a burden on hospital emergency departments as well as potential fines for hospital admission and readmission rates. How can EMS help alleviate these burdens? The answer may be Mobile Integrated Healthcare-Community Paramedicine (MIH-CP), the future of EMS.
According to National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) MIH-CP Report, MIH-CP delivers a higher level of clinical services while streamlining resources and dramatically reducing hospital readmissions (NAEMT MIH-CP, page 3). You need a community needs assessment, quality medical direction, partnerships, education and training curriculum, and funding. The NAEMT calls MIH-CP “Enhanced EMS” and says “The game-changer for community paramedicine eliminates a costly trip to the emergency department” (NAEMT MIH-CP, page 3).
According to NAEMT, over th...


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...ment. Those obstacles are perhaps one reason why, out of an estimated 17,000 EMS agencies nationwide, only 100 or so have launched MIH-CP programs. And many of those agencies, despite their enthusiasm and strong belief that they are doing what’s right for their communities and their patients, admit their long-term sustainability is by no means guaranteed” Page 29).
Less than one percent of EMS agencies are operating MIH-CP programs. So what is the outlook for Dubuque? The Dubuque area is not very proactive in changing EMS. However, in Dubuque there are two hospitals; fire based 911 EMS with more than eighty members, a critical care transport ambulance business with more than fifty members, many home health agencies, and countless nursing homes. Moving forward, we need to an individual or organization to lead the reform and begin with the community needs assessment.

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