On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order that requires air and ground ambulances to use a single, nationwide database to determine which hospitals and physicians are approved to treat patients in a particular emergency.
This could be an important step toward improving patient care.
The move comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it would expand a pilot program to collect information from air ambulance pilots to identify air ambulance providers that meet the criteria for Medicare reimbursement.
The pilot program is in the early stages, but the goal is to identify providers that can deliver best value to patients.
The pilot program, called the EAMIC database, allows providers to collect data from the EMAIL (Electronic Medical Record) system to determine whether they meet the standards of air ambulance service in a specific geographic area.
In some instances, this could mean the provider may be able to save patients money and shorten wait times, experts say.
This pilot is being rolled out in Maryland, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
It has so far saved about $10 million in the state, and it’s expected to be expanded to other states in 2018.
For air ambulance doctors, the database is a valuable resource for the health care system.
“The EAMIS is the single most important resource we have for identifying and evaluating air ambulance physicians,” said Dr. Mark Eriksen, a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington’s College of Emergency Medicine and a former medical director of the Massachusetts Emergency Medical Service.
“This database provides a valuable opportunity for the providers to share information with each other and with the public.”
Air ambulance providers are required to submit a copy of their EAMICS record to the states EMS providers’ bureau.
The EAMICES record includes the date of service, type of transport, and destination.
It can be used by providers to identify potential air ambulance provider partners.
“If you don’t have a record, you can’t do anything about it,” said David Stroud, a physician who currently practices in the Philadelphia area.
“It’s not like you’re doing a job.”
The pilot pilot program will allow the EAMS database to be used to determine what air ambulance services can provide best value for patients.
“When you look at it from a cost perspective, it’s the cheapest way to find out what providers are delivering,” said Stroud.
The EAMS program is a pilot, but it could eventually expand nationwide.
For example, in 2020, the Centers For Disease Control said the program could help address some of the concerns about the EEMS database.
The program has also raised concerns about data sharing and patient privacy, and has been criticized for its lack of transparency.
The national pilot program began in May and will be rolled out nationwide by early next year.