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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently found the applicants that will become part of its Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model initiative. The five-year payment model will provide increased flexibility for ambulance response services following a 911 call to meet the emergency healthcare of necessities of Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries. The participating applicants are comprised of ambulance providers and service suppliers in more than thirty states, all of which are Medicare-enrolled.
CMS revealed last February the ET3 model is aimed at establishing a new range of opportunities for emergency transportation and care, ensuring that patients receive convenient, effective treatment in the environment they feel is appropriate for them.
The goal was to promote more efficient use of facilities, ensuring that patients are handled expeditiously and fairly by Medicare-enrolled providers and suppliers. The model could result in Medicare savings of more than $500 million a year by sending patients to doctor’s offices versus the emergency room.
Currently, Medicare will only provide payment for emergency ground ambulance services should a patient be taken to certain facilities, usually a hospital emergency room. With ET3, Medicare will pay participating ambulance providers to transport a patient to an alternate destination, such as an urgent care clinic, for example.
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