National Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Tracking Project: Emergency Medical Services
As part of the Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) Tracking Project, the Walsh Center is responsible for examining emergency medical services (EMS) activities funded by the Flex Program and for designing a methodology to look at changes in inpatient utilization in new Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). This assessment of EMS issues, now in its third year, is addressing the degree to which local EMS providers are integrated into rural health networks and related to new CAHs. In addition, the Walsh Center is evaluating specific initiatives by selected states and localities to improve the provision of rural emergency care (e.g., through training programs to enhance skills and establishment of billing systems to be shared by all EMS providers in an area). Walsh Center staff are conducting site visits in three states where EMS is an important component of the state s Flex Program. The goal of these investigations is to document the experiences of these states and communities and to disseminate the lessons they have learned to other states that are dealing with EMS issues.
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