three ambulances parked at entrance of hospital

The Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model

Posted by Jon Savage on Apr 10, 2020

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a payment model purposed to increase the flexibility of emergency medical services in regards to treatment options of patients who call 911. Ambulance operators had to apply to be a part of the 5-year model, and in February the selected applicants list was released, and included 12 Colorado ambulance operators and districts. 

The initial start of the ET3 Model was scheduled for May 1, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS delayed the start until the fall of 2020 to allow applicants to focus on COVID-19 response. CMS also reports that they anticipate issuing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) this fall that would be a two-year cooperative agreement and available for up to forty 911 dispatch authorities.

The ET3 Model is only for Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries that initiate a 911 call. State Medicaid and other insurance entities are encouraged to adopt similar models. The alternative treatment destinations that CMS will pay for include transport to an alternative destination partner such as an urgent care clinic or primary care doctor's office. Transporting to a hospital emergency department is still covered as well, and patients may always request to go there regardless of emergency medical service (EMS) crew perceived necessity. The ET3 Model also has a modality of reimbursement to allow treatment in place where an on-scene provider or a telehealth connected provider assess and treats the patient. The goal of the ET3 Model is to reduce cost of unnecessary transports and improve the quality of care. 

Care on Location has been providing telemedicine services since 2017. Our providers all have prior ER experience, and additionally, some have worked in EMS. This gives us the unique expertise combining emergency medicine and telehealth to provide treatment in place for Colorado EMS entities. Our experience in telehealth hardware also ensures that the connection and diagnostic ability are as advanced as possible. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help provide telehealth for your ET3 program. 

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