RENO, NV - REMSA announced Wednesday morning that The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services awarded them with a $9.9 million grant.
REMSA was one of 107 organizations awarded a grant, out of 3,000 organizations who applied.
They estimate the grant and new programs will save them over ten million dollars in health care costs in the region over the next three years. REMSA also says new programs will create 22 jobs ranging from advanced community paramedics, communication specialists, nurses, an educator and many other positions.
The new REMSA program will have three parts.
1. A patient with a non-emergency condition will be able to pick up the phone and call a communication center. That person can talk to a nurse who is experienced in emergency medical treatment. This communicator will be located in the 911 communications center, and can send a paramedic if necessary.
2. Before the new program, when REMSA was dispatched, they would have to take the patient to the emergency room at a hospital. The second element of this program eliminates that, and allows REMSA to treat the person on scene without transporting them, or take them to an urgent care or primary care doctor. The goal of this is to provide patients with medical care at lower costs than a traditional emergency room visit.
3. REMSA will be working with "Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) to give patients follow-up care after being discharged from a hospital. The goal of this is to decrease readmission costs.
Patrick Smith, the President of REMSA, says these new programs will take time to get started, and you won't see any immediate changes, but you'll start to see them in about six months.