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Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open

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Paramedicine -- Community health



Community paramedicine has emerged as a promising model to redirect persons with nonmedically emergent conditions to more appropriate and less expensive community-based health care settings. Outreach through community paramedicine to patients with a history of high hospital emergency department (ED) use and chronic health conditions has been found to reduce ED use. This study examined the effect of community paramedicine implemented in 2 rural counties in reducing nonemergent ED use among a sample of Medicaid beneficiaries with complex medical conditions and a history of high ED utilization.


A cluster randomized trial approach with a stepped wedge design was used to test the effect of the community paramedicine intervention. ED utilization for non-urgent care was measured by emergency medicine ED visits and avoidable ED visits.


The community paramedicine intervention reduced ED utilization among a sample of 102 medically complex Medicaid beneficiaries with a history of high ED utilization. In the unadjusted models, emergency medical ED visits decreased by 13.9% (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.98) or 6.1 visits saved for every 100 people. Avoidable emergency department visits decreased by 38.9% (IRR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.44–0.84) or 2.3 visits saved for every 100 people.


Our results suggest community paramedicine is a promising model to achieve a reduction in ED utilization among medically complex patients by managing complex health conditions in a home-based setting.


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