EMS Seeking To Revive Community Paramedic Program
March 9, 2022
By Mike Kruzman / firstname.lastname@example.org
A new paramedic program that could be coming soon would bring help provide care for residents who may have a difficult time getting to the doctor’s office.
Livingston County EMS Deputy Director Amy Chapman spoke with the County’s General Government and Health and Human Services Committee, Monday night. The EMS Department is seeking a St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Community Assistance Grant for a community paramedic program. The County previously had a program, but suspended it in 2019 due to financial constraints. A community paramedic works with hospitals, physicians, and social services to connect with residents who may need help in their own homes, with a hope for keeping them from going to, or returning to, the hospital. Chapman said there are a lot of elderly in Livingston County that can’t get to the doctor, and a community paramedic could help them by providing medical services like giving them an antibiotic or by making sure their medications are refilled.
Chapman said that there is a big need in Livingston County for this little bit of extra help and assistance that a community paramedic can give, and that they have had physicians reach out to the department inquiring about it. Chapman said they have been working with a neighboring, Huron Valley Ambulance, which runs a strong program.
Chapman said that the County’s previous community paramedic program was essentially a free service, which led to their struggles in maintaining it. She said that programs like this are now becoming more known by insurance companies and that there are ways to partner with hospitals and physicians to get reimbursement. The intent of the $50,000 grant would be to re-implement the program, which Chapman says will take a lot of planning, along with needing a community paramedic on board. EMS plans to start the program small with one community paramedic and then work to expand the program once they get it established and on sure ground.
The request to apply for the grant was approved by the committee and will now go to the full Board of Commissioners.