At EMS Today 2018, Doug Hooten, Bob Nadolski, Jonathan Washko and Matt Zavadsky hosted a full day preconference workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 20, called “The Entrepreneurial EMS Agency:How EMS Service Leaders Can Take Advantage of the EMS 3.0 Transformation.”
We were excited to do this full-day session because the typical one to two hour session on transforming an EMS agency that most national EMS conferences allow doesn’t come close to enough time to do the topic justice.
In this workshop, participants actually helped craft the topics in advance; they were all surveyed and asked to submit their top three learning objectives. Among the most common learning goals submitted were:
- How EMS is or needs to be adapting to the current economic times;
- How do we move away from being a fee for service provider and become fully funded as a non for profit;
- What metric we should be looking at for benchmarking for performance;
- To learn how to improve EMS billing revenue collection;
- Exploring alternative payment models for Skilled Nursing Facilities to resolve the Medicare Part A & B payment issues EMS is faced with; and
- Learn strategies to help my agency to become financially sustainable.
The session started out with an explanation of how our nation’s healthcare system continues to change at a frenetic pace, and the changing stakeholder expectations for how EMS will demonstrate value provides an exceptional opportunity for entrepreneurial EMS service leaders to capitalize on the EMS 3.0 transformation.
One of the keys to successfully transforming an EMS agency is fully understanding the internal and external economics involved. Part of the workshop involved the participants working in small groups, using electronic workbooks to analyze their own agency finances, and building two new economic models for their service delivery. Once completed, the participants kept the workbooks to use again in their local community.
The day wrapped up with a roll-out of the ‘hot off the press’ EMS 3.0 value statements by NAEMT that local agencies can use as talking points and presentation materials for payers, hospitals, city/county councils, home health and hospice agencies and others.
The workshop also highlighted the Top 5 trends occurring in EMS payment policy to help the participants prepare for the likely changes that will occur with the EMS industry in the next 1 – 5 years. These include:
- The need to develop measures that demonstrate value in the domains of patient safety and quality, patient experience and utilization/cost of care.
- Changing economic models for EMS, away from fee for service transport, to something else.
- Enhancing education to better prepare field providers to not be just technicians who stabilize and transport patients to an ED, but rather clinicians who are prepared to use effective clinical critical thinking skills to make patient-centered recommendations for patient destinations.
- The likely movement away from single tier, all ALS system design models to an array of response options based on presumptive clinical needs of the patient.
- The push to fully integrate EMS information systems with the rest of the healthcare system; hospitals, physicians and payer health information systems.
This workshop was the first of its kind, filled with actionable information and tools that can be put into use the moment the participants returned home!