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Announcement from the CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services Solidifies AMR Approach



Providing the right level of care in the most appropriate setting

(Washington D.C.) – The announcement today from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding a new payment model for emergency ambulance services is a great step forward for the healthcare system as we rethink how emergency care is handled. AMR is already working with many communities across the country to ensure patients are getting the most appropriate level of care in the best setting.


“This model will create a new set of incentives for emergency transport and care, ensuring patients get convenient, appropriate treatment in whatever setting makes sense for them,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Today’s announcement shows that we can radically rethink the incentives around care delivery even in one of the trickiest parts of our system. A value-based healthcare system will help deliver each patient the right care, at the right price, in the right setting, from the right provider.”

According to CMS, Medicare regulations only allow payment for emergency ground ambulance services when individuals are transported to hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and dialysis centers. Most beneficiaries who call 911 with a medical emergency are therefore transported to one of these facilities, and most often to a hospital emergency department, even when a lower-acuity destination may be more appropriate to meet the individual’s needs.

“Providing a better model for care delivery has been a key initiative for us over the past several years,” said Edward Van Horne, AMR President and CEO. “This announcement fully supports our commitment to provide appropriate care in the most appropriate setting and supports many of the models we currently have in place.”

The Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) model strengthens our ability to improve the patient experience. 

Currently, AMR provides nurse triage, care coordination and navigation services through our medical command centers located in Texas, Florida and the District of Columbia. These centers are staffed 24/7 with nurses that are licensed in all 50 states to support our innovative and integrated care delivery models.We also have regional and local communication centers in 56 loations across the country.

Some of our other initiatives across the country include:

Working within the District of Columbia Fire and EMS department as part of their Right Care, Right Now program. This program takes low acuity callers and transfers them to the AMR nurse triage line to provide immediate nurse advice, care coordination and navigation services. 

Providing specially trained Critical Response Teams in the Las Vegas market who can transport patients with psychological issues directly to behavioral centers as opposed to going into the emergency department. 

Partnering with the Arlington Fire Department to help hundreds of patients with chronic conditions avoid ER visits and address social determinants of health before they become life-threating problems. 

We have the employee base, resources and experience to provide the necessary and immediate assistance that alleviates the pressure on EMS systems and enhances their ability to care for their community. Our integrated solutions and medical command center services have been effective in improving response times and unit availability, as well as educating communities on the appropriate use of 911. The result—a more functional system that enables local fire agencies to focus on providing timely, appropriate and high-quality patient care while controlling costs and improving outcomes. These approaches also alleviate the strain on hospital emergency departments.

AMR looks forward to working with CMS and the EMS industry to provide new ways to innovate emergency care and provide patients with a better experience.

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