Healthcare systems across the country are increasingly challenged to meet the demands of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while also meeting the needs of the patients and communities they serve.

The Triple Aim of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

  1. Better care for individuals
  2. Better health for populations
  3. Lower per capita costs

American Healthcare
Consumer Wants & Needs

  1. On-Demand Care: easy, convenient access to care 24-7-365
  2. Better Value Care: improved outcomes per dollar spent
  3. Better Experience of Care: improved patient satisfaction ratings

A growing network of consumer-oriented service delivery sites are responding to these unmet needs. Urgent care clinics, retail clinics and virtual visits are beginning to capture significant patient volumes. But the jury is still out on whether these new sites can deliver on the promise of better value healthcare.

  1. Slow adoption rates have limited the expansion urgent clinics, retail clinics, and virtual visits.
  2. Research highlights that while retail clinics and virtual visits change healthcare utilization patterns and reduce costs per episode of care, these new delivery sites may not impact overall utilization rates and total healthcare expenditures.
  3. Changing health-seeking behavior requires that new healthcare delivery sites are socialized, trusted, and reflect cultural norms.

Fire departments are strategically positioned to deliver consumer-oriented healthcare services to their communities. Fire departments are conveniently located in almost every American community, accessible 24-7-365. Fire departments are well recognized as a trusted resource for healthcare services.

For a subset of the American population, 9-1-1 and emergency department care has been socialized as an acceptable and convenient way to access all types of healthcare services. The National Quality Forum estimates that unnecessary and avoidable emergency medical services and emergency department care account for $38 billion dollars in wasted healthcare expenditures each year in the U.S.

Fire departments that optimize their 911 medical response system for non-emergent 911 callers, expand their provision of non-emergency medical services, and integrate these services into the broader healthcare system can capitalize on this $38 billion opportunity.