CHA News Article

Updated Data Available for Community Paramedicine Pilot Programs

New reports from the University of California, San Francisco address ongoing community paramedicine pilot programs across the state. In November 2014, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development approved an application from the California Emergency Medical Services Authority to establish a Health Workforce Pilot Project that has encompassed 17 projects in 13 communities across California to test seven different community paramedicine concepts.

The latest reports evaluating California’s Community Paramedicine Pilot Program reaffirm that the projects have improved coordination among providers of medical, behavioral health and social services and reduced preventable ambulance transports, emergency department visits and hospital readmissions. As shared in earlier reports, the pilot projects have not resulted in any adverse patient outcomes. The types of community paramedicine projects being tested are post-discharge, short-term follow up; frequent emergency medical services users; directly observed therapy for tuberculosis; hospice; alternate destination – mental health; alternate destination – urgent care; and alternate destination – sobering center.

The attached summary report presents findings on a total of 3,142 enrolled patients from the time the initial pilot projects began enrolling patients (June 2015 to October 2015) through March 2018, for nine of the 11 community paramedicine projects currently enrolling patients and five projects that have closed. San Francisco’s alternate destination – sobering center project began enrolling patients in February 2017. Two projects — both sponsored by the Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services Agency — did not begin enrolling patients until June 2018, and as such are not included in this report. Fresno’s alternate destination – mental health project plans to begin enrolling patients as soon as it receives approval from its institutional review board. 

Also attached is a summary of program data for the first quarter of 2018.