Letter: EMS decision may be wise one for Buncombe

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Your article “Buncombe County to Set Terms for Private EMS Contract” [March 13, Xpress] uses historical data to point out potential adverse impacts to local fire departments. I think this is misleading, and we need to correct the record.

A new CMS Medicare pilot called the Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) model [avl.mx/5ut] will allow participating ambulance suppliers and physicians to partner with health care practitioners to deliver treatment by transport to primary care offices and 24-hour urgent care clinics or deliver treatment on the scene. A model to create a low-acuity 911 service could potentially fill unmet needs in rural health care.

The bottom line is we can prepare for the future instead of taking business away from local fire departments. This is a wise decision by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners if the Medic private EMS service contract is structured to best service Medicare beneficiaries.

— Joel Harder


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