EMS “Frequent Flyer” Abuse

A recent article at JEMS.com on EMS System Abuse told of examples of “frequent flyers” (that is non-emergency patients requesting multiple transports by EMS agencies on a fairly regular basis) many of which would be amusing if they weren’t so sad.á The author offered up that while it is a serious practice ofáabuse by the public, it is also a problem with no solution.á Perhaps, however,áthat is somewhat of an over-simplification as the article did suggest afteralláthat if we could firstácureápoverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, lack of primary care and education then we could perhapsáeliminate the indiscriminate use of emergency services.

From a quick review of the solutions implemented in the past by multiple agencies to avoid abuses involving non-emergency transport including taxi vouchers, bus passes, referrals to physician offices, etc. which have been implemented and then often abandoned it is clear that the problem is not easily solved.á The fear of litigation for under estimating the urgency of a call is a strong motivator to permit these abuses, but that also comes at a cost.á

While it may be easy for those who are not responsible for managing the budget to say it simply can’t be solved, can agency management continue to utilize resources in an inefficient manner indefinitely by weighing the cost of a potential lawsuit as the cost justification?á How does a High-Performance EMS agency balance the unfettered demand for transport with optimization of services to control costs?á We’dálike to hear about your experiences or insights.

5 Comments

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

High Performance EMS

High Performance Emergency Medical Services (HP-EMS) systems provide effective clinical care promoting positive patient outcomes and community wellness while maintaining a focus on improving economic efficiency of the system.  This site is dedicated as a community seeking to increase agency performance by promoting useful information regarding the developing trends and improvements in the efficiency of delivering basic and advanced medical care in the field.

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Comments
daleloberger
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It only takes one bad story like this: http://www.emsworld.com/video/12029267/philadelphia-paramedic-in-hot-water-over-anti-police-image to make the public question a whole service (or even incite violence.) If your service doesn't already have a social networking presence, how can you effectively counter such bad media? You need to engage before problems arise in order to have credibility and a voice when…
2014-12-18 13:51:43
Mark
How To Perform CPR: The Crucial Steps You Should Know (and Share!)
The majority of people who survive a cardiac arrest are resuscitated from ventricular fibrillation (VF) by the administration of a defibrillatory shock. This is most likely to be successful when it is given very soon after the onset of VF; emergency service personnel are often unable to arrive soon enough to help a victim. Automated…
2014-12-16 17:32:19
daleloberger
Economic Efficiency
No one is going to challenge the idea of "rationing healthcare" with the idea that "any expense is worthwhile if it saves just one life"? Good to see we are beyond that logic.
2014-12-15 21:58:08
Fore Thoughts of EMS Today 2015 | High Performance EMS
A Country EMS in The Big City
[…] the opportunity to ride along with a BCFD crew and documented that experience in the post “A Country EMS in the Big City” that year. The next year, I got to experience EMS Today in DC along with the much hyped […]
2014-12-11 05:08:13
Jordan Collins
System Status Management (SSM)
We were punished for "late response times" by being exiled from our quarters overnight and placed on street corners. We had high morale; we would play basketball and football, as well as making potluck dinners once a rotation. Morale was at an all-time high, quarters and the trucks were kept cleaned and polished. Fast forward…
2014-12-10 15:50:18

Dale Loberger's Discussions


Follow Dale Loberger

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST EMS NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS