UCM Digital Health (UCM) and MVP Health Care (MVP) have announced a new program that will give MVP members access to emergency room-level care in the home.
The program is dubbed Treatment in Place.
“This partnership was really based on the exact concept of keeping people out of the ER, out of the hospital and out of even the urgent cares and pulling them into our platform,” UCM Digital Health CEO Keith Algozzine told Home Health Care News. “If we do that, we’ll actually be able to deliver on that triple aim: the right care, right place, right time.”
UCM Digital Health is a Troy, New York-based digital health company that provides virtual EMR services to patients across all 50 states. This new partnership is the first time UCM has partnered with EMS and a health plan to provide care in the home.
MVP Health Care is a New York-based nonprofit health insurer serving members in New York and Vermont.
If an MVP member makes an emergency call, an EMS worker will be dispatched to the member’s location.
First responders that partner with UCM now will have access to the UCM team, including their medical staff and team of care coordinators, to provide services for patients at their homes.
EMTs or paramedics will then work with a UCM emergency medicine-trained physician virtually to quickly treat patients with non-life-threatening conditions.
“You can get the same ER team that you would get in the ER, you can get a paramedic to show up and do many of the things that we could do in an ER — including assessment and some of the treatments — and that’s going to provide the patient with just an amazing benefit of being treated in the home versus a hospital,” Algozzine said.
A program like this also gets at bigger-picture issues, like crowded emergency rooms and unnecessary trips to the hospital.
“This is much more than just treating that one patient,” Algozzine said. “Our emergency medicine system, our ERs and our hospital inpatient settings are at a dangerously critical level. They can’t handle any more patients. So by doing this at an individual level, which obviously provides quality care that the patient loves at lower costs, what we’re really doing is something we believe is much bigger. We’re saving the system from collapsing.”
For EMS organizations, the program allows them to utilize their resources appropriately, Algozzine added.
Today, the Treatment in Place program is ready to be implemented and delivered to MVP members across 18 counties in New York, with plans to expand state-wide.
There is and always will be a need for what an emergency room delivers, Algozzine said. But now, in an age where digital health and virtual care are becoming more popular in the health care sphere overall, the ER is getting the same treatment.
“It’s not just because it’s 24/7, because a lot of people are 24/7 these days,” Algozzine said. “But it’s the team of people. Every other place in health care, there is an appointment with a person. In this world, there is a team of people standing ready to say, ‘No matter what your problem is, we’re ready to take care of you.’ That’s what we built, except we virtualized it.”
Algozzine said UCM is already talking to several other payers about coming on board, calling future partnerships “a no-brainer.”
“This program represents MVP and UCM’s steadfast commitment to making health care more accessible, convenient and affordable for our customers while creating new opportunities for efficiencies and savings in the health care system,” MVP Health Care President and CEO Chris Del Vecchio said in a statement.
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