Mobile Integrated Health – Community Paramedicine Program Launches to Advance Healthcare in West Baltimore
The Baltimore City Fire Department, University of Maryland Medical Center, the City of Baltimore, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore have partnered to launch a new healthcare delivery model for selected areas of Baltimore City, Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Community Paramedicine (MIH-CP). This innovative community-based program will support the health of individuals through a comprehensive, free, multidisciplinary care model for patients which provides care outside the hospital setting, and which is designed to reduce health disparities, decrease emergency department visits, and prevent hospital readmissions. The 2-year pilot program is serving zip codes 21216, 21217, 21223, 21229, 21201 and 21230. The first patients enrolled May 15, 2018.
“This innovative new partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center offers the potential to transform the health prospects of those in our community most at risk. Through this integrated mobile healthcare delivery model, we will reduce the burden on emergency medical personnel and on emergency rooms across our City, while still providing superior care to our underserved citizens,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh.
“As one of the busiest EMS systems in the U.S., per capita, MIH-CP sheds light on the need for additional resources that support the Baltimore City Fire Department. The high demand from non-emergency patients affects hospital and emergency department overcrowding and severely limits the number of medic units available to rapidly respond to medical emergencies,” said Chief Niles Ford, Baltimore City Fire Chief. “As a result, MIH-CP’s focus is on enhancing patient care with home visits, community medical intervention and a more personalized medical treatment option that will mitigate the strain on our emergency departments and EMS providers. BCFD is proud to be part of this partnership because we know the direct, positive impact it will have on the community we serve,” said Chief Ford.
Mobile Integrated Healthcare is a community-based, cost-effective health care solution designed to provide effective and efficient care to patients outside of the hospital. Paramedics and nurses with advanced training are able to function outside traditional emergency response and transport roles, and instead assist in maintaining individuals’ health at their homes while also providing convenient, unscheduled care access. This program has been successfully implemented in areas across the country and has improved healthcare access for underserved populations and reduced costs.
Social and economic factors, weaknesses in primary care infrastructure, and lack of access to treatment for chronic conditions contribute to a high rate of potentially avoidable health care utilization and emergency medical service (EMS) responses in West Baltimore. More than 80% of Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) 911 responses are for EMS incidents, presenting a significant strain to the system. Further, it is estimated nationally that 15% of persons transported to emergency rooms could be treated safely in non-urgent settings. This statistic is likely higher in West Baltimore given the challenges to health care access, lower health literacy, and the complexity of chronic diseases. Click HERE to learn more!