Lives have been saved, hospital admissions and readmissions reduced, and the number of elderly who remain living in their own home has increased based on evaluation of a unique at-home care program now operating in Orlando, Florida. Care-A-Medix? uses a team of community paramedics to extend the physician care plan into the home enabling individuals living with chronic health conditions to age-in-place.
Care-A-Medix? is a relatively new model of community-based health care in which paramedics are utilized outside their standard emergency response and transportation roles to improve population health. Community paramedics assist with home-based patient care for high-risk, high-utilization, and chronically ill patients to prevent acute care episodes requiring emergency medical care. "They conduct a lengthy initial assessment covering vital signs, home safety, medication reconciliation, falls and depression risk, pantry supplies, and social needs" said Marcus Prevot, chief community paramedic with Care-A-Medix?. "Each home visit is documented for the referring medical office. Additionally Care-A-Medix? uses portable tablet computers to offer the physician or case manager two-way HIPAA-compliant face-to-face communication with their patient during the home visit."
"What sets this program apart from the many EMS community paramedicine programs is that while their primary focus is on reducing the number of repeat 911 emergency calls, Care-A-Medix? extends physician care into the home with scheduled visits over time" said Ken Peach, program founder. "Our paramedics get to know and care for individuals living with congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and other ongoing health conditions."
Care-A-Medix? uses Florida-certified paramedics with hospital experience because their extensive training and board scope of capabilities enables them to monitor, manage, and provide self-care disease management education. Specialized training extends care for children with asthma and dialysis patients.
Accountable care organizations, medical offices participating in Medicare Advantage health plans, a home care agency, and independent physician practices are current clients. The chronic care management program is expanding into additional counties in Florida.
Care-A-Medix? Company Paramedic program lets self-insured employers offer a low cost per-employee-per-month health care service that includes wellness education, health risk screening, and chronic care management at both the worksite and employee homes.
Care-A-Medix? is a service of The Local Health Council of East Central Florida, Inc., a not-for-profit health organization with offices in Winter Park. For information about Care-A-Medix? visit www.Care-A-Medix.org.