Why differentiate between emergency medical services and non-emergency medical services?

For years, fire departments and health systems have allowed the public to identify their own emergency and utilize 911, emergency medical services, and emergency departments for non-emergent requests. In the current fee-for-service reimbursement system, healthcare providers are financially rewarded for delivering a high volume of emergency services to individuals regardless of the urgency and severity of their medical conditions.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act changes the financial incentives in the healthcare system, rewarding value (outcomes per dollar spent) over volume (number of services per dollar spent). In the new, value-based healthcare system, healthcare providers are financially penalized for delivering inappropriate or unnecessary emergency care and rewarded for improving health outcomes and decreasing the costs of care.

FD CARES helps fire departments transform their healthcare services to meet the demand for non-emergent care. Increased focus of emergency services on actual emergencies and better meet the needs of non-emergent 911 callers.

Non-Emergency Medical Services (NEMS):

Non-Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) are dispatched to individuals who have a non-emergent medical condition that requires a medical response and intervention.

A non-emergency is an event that does not put the health and life of an individual at serious risk if treatment is delayed. Non-emergencies occur when the medical needs of an individual are gradual and due to moderate or mild symptoms. The symptoms may be caused by a non-life threatening condition such as…

  1. Chronic Disease
  2. Fall
  3. Minor injury
  4. Anxiety

Emergency Medical Services (EMS):

EMS are dispatched to 911 callers who have an emergent medical condition that requires a rapid medical response and intervention.

An emergency is any event that puts the health and life of an individual at serious risk if treatment is delayed. Real emergencies occur when the medical needs of an individual are immediate and due to severe symptoms. The symptoms may be caused by a life-threatening event such as…

  1. Uncontrolled bleeding
  2. Heart attack
  3. Automobile accident
  4. Infection