Mo. community paramedicine cuts frequent fliers by 22%

The program has also resulted in a 7 percent decrease in trips to the emergency department

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A new community paramedicine program implemented in February at Christian Hospital has reduced frequent 911 calls and ER visits in just three months, reports. 

“We’ve seen a 7 percent decrease in our non-emergent volume to the hospital through our EMS from the field,” said Chris Cebollero, chief of Christian Hospital’s EMS and an columnists.

There has also been a 22 percent drop in frequent 911 users as a result of the Community Health Access Program, or CHAP.

In 2013, 22 patients called 911 more than 600 times. Terrell Jones, who suffers from sickle cell disease, was responsible for 50 of them.

“I was in there a lot,” he said.

But in the past three months, he’s gone to the emergency room only twice since he started working with paramedic Derek Mollett. Mollett spends half of the week actively responding, and the other half making house calls, connecting patients to who don’t have regular doctors to primary care physicians, and getting at the root of why they’re calling 911 in the first place.

The program has helped more than 1,800 patients receive regular medical care.

“We find people coming in saying, ‘I don’t want to go to the ER, I want to go to that place you’ve got upstairs,’” said Cebollero, referring to a facility where symptoms can be managed before they escalate.

In terms of how it’s paid for, CHAP doesn’t have funding — yet. Since February, a number of insurance companies have reached out to program managers with inquiries as to how they could be involved.

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