Paramedics Face Roadblocks In Efforts To Play Larger Health Care Role
In a small number of communities, paramedics are providing in-home care, coordinating patient services and saving millions. Despite these successes, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers won’t reimburse for such work and states must address the regulatory hurdles in place. Meanwhile, a new app applies the Uber-model to facilitate doctor housecalls.
Reimbursement Issues Block Paramedics From Expanded Role
Paramedics are primed to play a larger role in the health care system, which they’re sure will help lower costs and benefit patients. Yet they’re running into regulatory roadblocks that they say state and federal officials have to move. Despite the track record of initiatives in places like Nevada and Texas, where paramedics are providing in-home care, coordinating patient services and saving millions in the process, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans still won’t reimburse for such work. (Mershon, 5/4)
The New York Times:
An Uber For Doctor Housecalls
New smartphone apps can deliver doctors to your doorstep. Heal is a smartphone app similar to the on-demand car service Uber, but instead of a car, a doctor shows up at your door. Users download the app and then type in a few details such as address and the reason for the visit. After adding a credit card and a request for a family doctor or a pediatrician, the physician arrives in 20 to 60 minutes for a flat fee of $99. Heal began in Los Angeles in February, recently expanded to San Francisco and is set to roll out in another 15 major cities this year. Heal doctors are on call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, said Dr. Renee Dua, a founder and the chief medical officer of Heal. (Jolly, 5/5)