CMMI Selects 205 Participants to Test Emergency Transport Model

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced Thursday it has selected 205 ambulance providers and suppliers to participate in its new payment model that allows them to transport Medicare beneficiaries to areas besides the emergency department. The model, unveiled last February and called the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model, is an attempt to discourage unnecessary ED use. Under current payment structures, ambulances usually take patients to EDs regardless if it’s appropriate or not because that’s the only way they can be reimbursed under Medicare. The CMS notified the 205 applicants of their selection to participate and will release a final list of participants by this spring. The participants overall represent ambulance suppliers and providers across 36 states. Under the model, ambulances can take patients to a destination other than an ED, such as a doctor’s office or initiate treatment on the scene through telehealth. A beneficiary can still choose to be brought to an ED if he or she prefers.

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