The evolving role of emergency medical services in Sacramento, CA
King, Niko S.
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Due to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans now covered with health insurance have found it increasingly difficult to find primary care physicians. The demand for health care has exceeded the capacity of the current system to supply it. People have turned to emergency medical services to receive care for their chronic illness and non-acute medical problems instead of dealing with the long wait times at clinics or unavailability of primary care physicians. This transition to low acuity care occupies a large portion of the emergency response system and leaves communities with very limited emergency response resources. Several cities have attempted to increase the availability of their emergency response resources by matching the type of care that is being requested through the nation's 9-1-1 system. Mid-level nurse practitioners and behavioral health specialists paired with paramedics can provide a broader set of solutions instead of transporting all patients to a hospital emergency department and at the same time allow traditional emergency response ambulances to remain available. Measuring the performance of these new programs and tailoring them to meet the precise needs of a community can enhance the resilience of emergency resources and improve the nation's homeland security.
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