News & Perspectives

CMS offers new model for emergency medical triage and transportation

21. February 2019 Tom Entrikin Health

On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), outlined a new model for emergency medical triage, treatment, and transportation services. CMS will offer Medicare reimbursement through the new model to transport patients to hospital emergency departments as well as other destinations appropriate to patient needs, such as primary care physicians and urgent care clinics. CMS also will offer Medicare reimbursement through the new model for treatment on the scene of the emergency by qualified health practitioners, including care supported by telehealth communication systems. The new model is an opportunity for state and local governments to re-design communication and service delivery systems to improve care, reduce costs, and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital emergency departments. 

CMS is encouraging appropriate collaboration with state Medicaid agencies and other payers. A request for applications will be issued this summer. A notice of funding availability will be issued this fall. Implementation is anticipated by January 2020 and will run for five years. Additional information on the new initiative is available here: