A healthcare partnership between hospice organizations and EMS responders to extend on-site treatment may prevent hospital readmissions and lead to significant cost savings, Kaiser Health News reports.

On average, 18% of hospice patients go to the emergency room at least once before their death, according to an analysis of Medicare data published last year in the journal Medicare data published last year in the journal Medical Care. Melissa Aldridge, the study’s lead researcher and an associate professor at New York City’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, describes paramedic-hospice partnerships … as “forward-thinking” in promoting better patient care.

Fort Worth paramedics trained for this type of hospice support — part of a local partnership with VITAS Healthcare, the country’s largest hospice organization — spend a longer stretch of time on the scene to determine if the symptoms that triggered the 911 call can be addressed without a trip to the emergency room.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare, a governmental agency created to provide ambulance services for Fort Worth and 14 nearby cities, is one of several ambulance providers nationwide that have teamed up with local hospice agencies. The paramedic backup, enthusiasts argue, not only helps more hospice patients remain at home, but also reduces the potential for costlier and likely unnecessary care.

Read more at www.khn.org