DC EMS crews to start denying hospital transports for some patients

A new DC Fire and EMS policy allows EMS providers to refer some non-emergent patients to a clinic instead of taking them to a hospital

Referral of non-emergent patients to alternative care destinations, like urgent-care clinics, is the future of EMS and the potential of the ET3 - Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport Model, which will make it possible for participating EMS agencies to partner with qualified healthcare providers to deliver treatment in place (on-scene or via telehealth) and with alternative destination sites (such as primary care doctors’ offices or urgent-care clinics). Here are five things to know about ET3.

By EMS1 Staff

WASHINGTON — EMS crews are now able to deny hospital transport to some non-emergent patients under a new policy.

WJLA reported that DC Fire and EMS responders will begin referring patients who are not in need of urgent care to clinics instead of transporting them to a hospital as of March 1.

First responders will arrive at the home of a non-emergent caller and let them talk to a nurse on the phone before directing them to a clinic.

Patients with Medicaid who are referred to clinics will be taken by Lyft drivers to one of 21 facilities designated by the fire department for treatment before transporting the patient back home.

DCFEMS Chief Gregory Dean said most patients transported by his crews are not really in need of urgent care.

“Most of the patients we take to the emergency room currently should not be going to the emergency room,” he said. “So, we are trying to keep the emergency room available for real emergencies.”


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