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Trends with the Biggest Impact on EMS Agencies for 2018

ESO Staff

A new year brings with it new challenges as well as new opportunities. 2018 is no different. For EMS organizations, data will continue to emerge as a core trend that will have implications across all aspects of patient care. Additionally, there are challenges with the changing insurance environment and the indirect effects of value-based purchasing that will play a role.

Below, we explore four trends we see having an impact on EMS organizations in 2018. For a deeper look and recommended actions for each trend, download the EMS Predictions for 2018 whitepaper.

  • Shared decision-making will continue to evolve: Access to increasingly richer data will influence decision-making about patient care. As electronic patient care records (ePCR) software continues to mature, paramedics and other prehospital medical professionals will have a fuller picture of a patient’s medical history, ensuring that patients receive the right attention in the field and get to the right hospital for the right treatment.
  • EMS will increasingly play a role in value-based purchasing: Although value-based purchasing has been implemented across hospitals, it has yet to come to EMS directly. Still, the scrutiny around quality of care that value-based purchasing brings to hospitals will increasingly impact EMS indirectly. As hospitals seek to ensure maximum reimbursement for services rendered, they will increasingly look to EMS as a partner to steer patients to the most cost effective and appropriate care venue.
  • EMS organizations will increasingly discover value in data: The proliferation in EMS of both patient-care and operational data will continue to accelerate. Organizations that tap into this data will be able to operate more efficiently, as well as demonstrate the value they bring to their communities and the healthcare system. Organizations will discover greater value in integrated data that incorporates information from multiple sources, such as patient demographic and outcomes data from hospitals.
  • The changing insurance environment will create reimbursement uncertainty for EMS organizations: Uncertainty about health insurance – such as higher deductibles, potential increases in uninsured patients, and changes in Medicaid coverage – will have an effect on EMS organizations that bill a patient’s insurance for services, especially in terms of how they are reimbursed, when they are paid, and for what services they are paid.

EMS organizations that monitor and act on these trends accordingly will be primed for success in 2018 and beyond. Download EMS Predictions for 2018 for suggested actions for each trend.

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