Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Receives Grant to Launch Innovative Paramedicine Pilot Program
Program will aid frequent users of emergency services to improve overall health and reduce health care costs
Who: The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has been awarded a $285,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to launch an innovative new community paramedicine program in Hillsborough County.
Why this is important: The program will focus on frequent users of local EMS and hospital emergency room services by connecting patients to medical and mental health resources. Many of these individuals have both medical and behavioral health needs that require a specialized form of non-emergency care.
TAMPA, Fla., March 9, 2018 – The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay has received funding to launch a community paramedicine pilot program focused on patients who are frequent users of the emergency and behavioral health system. The pilot program was made possible by a $285,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to advance innovative programs for underserved populations and provide access to non-traditional health services.
The pilot program is designed to holistically care for the medical, behavioral and social needs of patients who routinely use emergency services. By providing this support, the patients will get and stay healthier after they are discharged—and, in turn, the health care system will achieve overall savings.
Through its TransCare Medical Transportation division, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay will have two community care coordinators who are paramedics dedicated to patients after they are discharged from the emergency room due to both a physical and behavioral health need. They will work with emergency room staff or insurers to identify which patients may benefit most from additional one-on-one assistance.
The community care coordinators will follow up with patients to help identify why they frequently use emergency services and develop a plan to address their medical needs as well as social and behavioral health concerns in a non-emergency setting. This holistic approach to care will ensure patients are connected with the appropriate resources and lead to fewer emergency calls and visits.
“Through TransCare as well as our collaborative work with other medical and behavioral health organizations, we recognized that an innovative solution was needed to address frequent and chronic users of emergency medical and behavioral services. This Florida Blue Foundation Innovation grant will allow us to develop a system of care to help these individuals receive the unique services they need,” said Clara Reynolds, President & CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
“Florida Blue is dedicated to helping people and communities achieve better health, and we believe inventive, non-traditional programs are essential to improve access to care and the quality of care available in our community,” said David Pizzo, Florida Blue Market President, West Florida. “We applaud the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s paramedicine program as an innovative solution to the growing overuse of our emergency services. By proactively working with patients to connect them to medical, behavior and social services, they can improve patients’ overall health, reduce their use of emergency services and, ultimately, lower health care expenses.”
About Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
The mission of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone. The organization is the community’s gateway to help, hope, and healing, and is Tampa Bay’s elite provider of crisis and trauma services. Responding to over 160,000 requests for help each year, the nonprofit agency offers a range of evidence based programs designed to meet community needs:
• Gateway Contact Center (2-1-1: suicide prevention, crisis counseling, and information and referral services)
• Corbett Trauma Center (trauma counseling and sexual assault survivor services)
• TransCare (9-1-1 emergency and mental health ambulance services, medical van transportation)
For more information regarding the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, please visit www.crisiscenter.com.
About Florida Blue Foundation
Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and rewarding best practices. More than three million people in Florida have received direct health services as a result of grants made to nonprofit organizations since its founding in 2001. Florida Blue Foundation is a trade name of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.bluefoundationfl.com.
Florida Blue and the Florida Blue Foundation are on Facebook and Twitter.
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Contact: Ken Gibson
Florida Blue Contact: Christie Hyde DeNave