Primary Care Projects: Community Paramedic

Project Description
Fort Bend County received approval to develop a project that will identify uninsured/ under-insured population (Indigent Health Care), Medicaid patients who are frequent or inappropriate users of the County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) to provide appropriate care in their home setting using Advanced Practice Paramedics / Community Paramedics.

The project will have the following components:

  • Trained Advanced Practice Paramedics / Community Paramedics
  • Response vehicles with equipment for treatment at home, but not ALS transport
  • Treatment of minor or chronic illness in the home setting
  • Transportation to a medical facility if determined necessary
  • Coordination with the established medical home for the target population, the FQHC for ongoing management of chronic conditions, primary care, prevention services
  • Connection to community Social Service agencies for other needs

The Community Paramedic Program will be housed with the Fort Bend County EMS department, which is part of Fort Bend County Health & Human Services. The program will be conducted in coordination with the local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), AccessHealth. The FQHC will become the medical home for patients referred after treatment by the Community Paramedic Program.

Goals and Relationship to Regional Goals
The goal of this project is to help ensure that patients have access to primary care and community resources, which in turn will help minimize the need for EMS transport.

The project addresses the following regional goals:

  • Increase access to primary and specialty care services, with a focus on underserved populations, to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care for their condition, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.
  • Transform health care delivery from a disease-focused model of episodic care to a patient-centered, coordinated delivery model that improves patient satisfaction and health outcomes, reduces unnecessary or duplicative services, and builds on the accomplishments of our existing health care system.

5-year Expected Outcome for Provider and Patients
Fort Bend County expects to achieve improvements in the health status of the targeted population, better utilization of available community resources and decreased use of high cost emergency departments and EMS for non-urgent health conditions.

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