NPN began a collaboration with Pierce County Fire Districts to decrease inappropriate high utilization of emergency services in October 2014 through case management referral. Our work was recently covered in an article in the national online magazine, Physicians Practice. Although the article only mentions West Pierce Fire and Rescue, we also collaborate with Gig Harbor, East Pierce, Central Pierce, Graham and Orting.
How an IPA in Washington Collaborates with the Local EMS
The emerging era of team-based care makes for somewhat strange bedfellows. Or at least bedfellows who normally wouldn’t be in close contact with each other.
Take the case of Northwest Physicians Network, an independent physician association (IPA) serving thousands of Medicaid enrollees in the Pierce county region of Washington. Three years ago, the president of the IPA met with representatives from the state’s paramedicine workgroup to talk about high utilizers of the healthcare system. These are patients who call 911 half a dozen times over the course of a few months, sometimes even more. This process can be time consuming and costly, especially if they end up going to the emergency department for an unnecessary reason.
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