New FL EMS Program Aims to Reduce 911 Calls

Gainesville, FL – EMSWorld reports that scores of people have benefited from a new community resource program (CRP), whose goal is to reduce the number of emergency calls to 911 and hospital visits – a collaborative effort between the fire department and other area organizations, by helping those who struggle with social, health, and mental issues.

Patients are referred to Gainesville’s CRP program by health clinics and first responders who arrive on an emergency scene.

When EMS determines the call is not life-threatening but that the caller struggles with basic necessities.

CRP workers follow up and visit patients at their home to get to the root of the caller’s problems by connecting them with help from partner organizations and resources in hope of reducing non-emergency room visits and 911 calls that often inundate the systems and cost both sides thousands of dollars.

The city estimates the average cost of an emergency room visit ranges between $900 to $1,200, based on UF Health costs.

A UF Health spokeswoman would not confirm or provide pricing information, saying costs vary depending on the severity of the case. But with some patients visiting the ER multiple times a year for issues easily corrected, the costs stack up for the patients and hospitals.

Since its launch, it’s estimated that the program has reduced hospital visits by 28% and hospital admissions by 62%.