The Health Council of East Central Florida is expanding its five-year old home paramedicine program to the Pine Hills community this month. Physicians caring for senior residents living with chronic health conditions will be able to request home visits by licensed Florida paramedics. The paramedics are trained to extend the physician’s medical care into the home, monitoring disease progress and offering self-care education.
“Our program in West Orange County has been in place for three years now” said chief paramedic Marcus Prevot. “We have reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations, enabling individuals living with congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, hypertension, and other conditions to remain living in their own homes. That’s why the program there is called Healthy, Happy, and Home!”
When a physician requests service for his or her patient, the paramedic calls the individual to arrange a scheduled home visit. Paramedics arrive in their own car as this
is a chronic care and not emergency service. “We don’t have any ambulances” said Prevot. “Our focus is solely on the ongoing health and continued wellness of our patients.”
The paramedic meets and assesses the senior, learning about health issues, medications, food and nutritional preferences, and functional abilities. Additionally, the paramedic checks home safety including smoke detectors, air conditioning filters, flooring, and other environmental conditions that could impact individual health. The same paramedic then schedules future visits so that both the patient and paramedic get to know each other. This makes it easier for the paramedic to know how to assist with self-care education and any additional services required by the patient or assigned by the physician. All visits are documented for the referring physician.
With funding from the not-for-profit Health Council, the Pine Hills program will be complimentary for this next year to individuals whether insured or uninsured. “Although many of our programs receive support from participating physicians, in Pine Hills we have the ability to offer residents and their doctors the program at no cost” said Ken Peach, Health Council executive director.
Physicians with patients to refer or Pine Hills residents who would like to use the service for themselves or the person for whom they provide care are welcome to contact Marcus Prevot at 321.285.2129 or CMedicFLA@gmail.com.