ESO Solutions Predicts Key EMS Trends for 2018

Increased Role in Decision-Making, Increased Effects of Value-Based Purchasing and Expanded Data Integration Changing the Landscape for EMS Across U.S.

January 2, 2018 – Austin, Texas – ESO Solutions, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services, fire departments, and hospitals, today shared the trends it predicts will have the biggest impact on EMS organizations in 2018: EMS organizations will play a greater role in decision-making affecting patients; more EMS organizations will feel the influence of value-based purchasing by payers; integration and sharing of data and information between providers will increase; and finance changes will create uncertainty for EMS organizations.

“2018 will see the healthcare reimbursement system remain in flux as we shift away from fee-for-service and toward a pay-for-performance model,” said Brent Myers, MD, Senior Medical Consultant at ESO. “We also believe the most successful EMS organizations will be the ones that leverage data and integrate and share information with other providers. During the year, this trend will have an increasing impact on how shared decision-making changes and evolves.”

Key EMS Predictions for 2018:

  • Shared decision-making will continue to evolve: Access to increasingly richer data will influence decision-making about patient care. As electronic patient care records (ePCR) software continues to mature, paramedics and other prehospital medical professionals will have a fuller picture of a patient’s medical history, ensuring that patients receive the right attention in the field and get to the right hospital for the right treatment.
  • EMS will increasingly play a role in value-based purchasing: Although value-based purchasing has been implemented across hospitals, it has yet to come to EMS directly. Still, the scrutiny around quality of care that value-based purchasing brings to hospitals will increasingly impact EMS indirectly. As hospitals seek to ensure maximum reimbursement for services rendered, they will increasingly look to EMS as a partner to steer patients to the most cost effective and appropriate care venue.
  • EMS organizations will increasingly discover value in data: The proliferation in EMS of both patient-care and operational data will continue to accelerate. Organizations that tap into this data will be able to operate more efficiently, as well as demonstrate the value they bring to their communities and the healthcare system. Organizations will discover greater value in integrated data that incorporates information from multiple sources, such as patient demographic and outcome data from hospitals.
  • The changing insurance environment will create reimbursement uncertainty for EMS organizations: Uncertainty about health insurance – such as higher deductibles, potential increases in uninsured patients, and changes in Medicaid coverage – will have an effect on EMS organizations that bill a patient’s insurance for services, especially in terms of how they are reimbursed, when they are paid, and for what services they are paid.

“Organizations that stay informed about these trends, especially the ones that leverage data and analytics to truly understand ROI and outcomes, will have an advantage over organizations that don’t,” added Myers. “That advantage will become even more significant as EMS gets smarter and more predictive with the information at their disposal.”

Download the 2018 EMS Predictions whitepaper here.