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A public–private partnership that supports ambulance transport to urgent care centers when clinically appropriate just got new life in Reno, NV. It’s a cooperative effort between Reno’s Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority and Renown Health, launched in 2012 with the help of $9.8 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Healthcare Innovation Award program. That grant ran out, but Renown says it will continue to support the program because of the cost savings it has realized; more than 6,200 emergency room visits have been avoided since its inception. In addition to the Ambulance Transport Alternatives, the program features Nurse Health Line, staffed with specially trained registered nurses who are also certified in Emergency Medical Dispatch and who provide assessment and triage; and Community Paramedicine, which has specially trained paramedics evaluating patients and performing tightly defined tasks under approved protocols. Together, the three legs of the program help ensure that patients are directed to the setting appropriate for their needs rather than automatically being transported to the emergency room.

Reno Will Keep Seeing Ambulances Roll Up to the Urgent Care Center