Healthcare does not always have to be delivered in the hospital! In fact, healthcare may be provided right at home, even after an acute care hospitalization or instead of an acute care hospitalization. This is especially true for patients with chronic illnesses such as COPD and heart disease. With Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) and Community Paramedicine, hospital level care and standard preventative care can be provided in the home when needed. Paramedics all across the country, including here in Delaware, are expanding to provide at home care for patients and the results are impressive - improved patient health outcomes and satisfaction, and reduced cost of care.
MIH is an evidence based, patient-centered, coordinated program using multidisciplinary teams to expand healthcare to the patient in the home. Community Paramedicine is an innovative way to employ Emergency Medicine Services (EMS) personnel who are equipped to provide care in the home as part of the MIH program to provide more efficient and greater access to care.
Across the US, there are EMS agencies that are partnering with acute care hospitals, primary care providers, nurses, and mental health and social service providers to meet the needs of patients in innovative ways to improve overall health while meeting the patients where they are, in their homes. Research has shown that patients who receive hospital level care through MIH programs with Community Paramedics have shown their patients have improved overall health with fewer readmissions, less mortality, fewer falls, and improved satisfaction with care.
Many of these programs began well before the pandemic, while others were created right during the middle of it. During the pandemic, a temporary law allowed flexibility to create programs such as MIH to allow greater access to care. Many States have moved to incorporate MIH and Community Paramedicine into permanent programs before the expiration of the these flexibilities.
In Delaware, a Senate Resolution introduced by Senator Jack Walsh, Representative Kerri Evelyn Harris and Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker recognizing the importance of MIH and Community Paramedicine passed the General Assembly on May 9th. The resolution (SCR 50), a Delaware Healthcare Association advocacy priority, encourages all stakeholders -- including state agencies and regulatory bodies, acute hospitals, long-term care facilities, EMS, healthcare providers, and home and community service providers – to work together to grow these programs in the state and explore how to integrate MIH and Community Paramedicine into existing regulatory structures.
DHA looks forward to the first convening of the stakeholder group this summer. For more information, please contact Megan Williams at email@example.com