Community paramedicine pilot approved in Calif.

The program will include a wide range of community paramedicine services, which will be evaluated by an independent team when it concludes in 2017

The Emergency Medical Services Authority

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) today announced a program to pilot community paramedicine at 12 sites across California starting January 2015.

With the approval from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development's Health Workforce Pilot Project program, the pilot will allow organizations to test and evaluate new or expanded roles for healthcare professionals and new healthcare delivery alternatives before changes in licensing laws are made by the Legislature.

“Our emergency medical services workforce is a well-trained, licensed healthcare resource that is highly mobile, available 24/7 and familiar to the community,” said Dr. Howard Backer, director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority. “This pilot program will allow California to test the use of these personnel to fill local health system needs through a tightly monitored protocol.”

Paramedics will receive specialized training and work under physician direction using approved patient care protocols. Pilot sites will be in Alameda, Butte, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, Stanislaus, Solano and Ventura Counties. These sites will utilize community paramedics to offer services including: follow up care for patients recently discharged from the hospital; transportation to urgent care or mental health clinics; hospice support; follow up treatment of tuberculosis; and assist individuals who frequently utilize emergency medical services to establish care with a primary care physician. 

A listing of pilot sites, partnering medical providers and services provided is available on the EMSA website.

At the conclusion of the pilot, estimated in 2017, a UC San Francisco based independent project evaluation team from the Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Center for the Health Professions will evaluate the pilot project. 

A final report will be issued by the UC San Francisco evaluation team.

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