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Frequent 911 Calls Reduced While Patient Care Improves

Oped by Commissioner Cook

  • 19 March 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 2898

CHP was started in 2014 under a grant through the Medicaid 1115 Waiver that allows the state to expand Medicaid managed care while preserving hospital funding.

In its first year, CHP focused on high utilizers of EMS and a readmission reduction program with two local hospitals. Though the grant ended in 2017, the county saw success and value in the program.

CHP continued as a critical part of the Wilco EMS system, with funding from the county’s Tobacco Settlement Fund and uncompensated care money from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

CHP continues to reduce unnecessary transports to hospitals, which decreases emergency room crowding while saving taxpayers money.

In 2019, CHP saw tremendous growth and success. CHP showed a reduction of 79.1 percent for EMS use among 228 patients who accounted for 872 EMS calls in a 90-day period prior to enrollment in services.

Those same patients made only 182 EMS calls in a 90-day period post discharge from CHP services.

Participating patients answer satisfaction surveys after their last CHP visit. The results are reported quarterly and for the fourth quarter of 2019, the paramedics and their services received a perfect score of 100. 

I commend the work of the founding fathers of CHP to get out of the way and let our EMS paramedics and mental health specialists develop the program with the flexibility necessary for each unique case.

Texas counties are responsible for providing health and safety services. Many counties operate an Emergency Medical Services department, like Wilco does.

An EMS system treats people with illnesses or injuries that require an urgent medical response and often transportation to a hospital for further medical care, but for many other mental or health care needs, CHP is the best alternative.

For more information, please visit https://www.wilco.org/Departments/EMS/Community-Health-Paramedicine.

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