UCM Digital Health (UCM) and MVP Health Care (MVP) announced a new program that will give MVP members access to emergency room-level care at home.
The program is called Treatment in Place.
“This partnership was really based on the exact concept of keeping people out of the emergency room, out of the hospital and even out of urgent care and bringing them into our platform,” UCM Digital Health CEO Keith Algozin told Home Health Care News. “If we do that, we’ll actually be able to achieve that triple aim: the right care, the right place, the right time.”
UCM Digital Health is a Troy, New York-based digital health company that provides virtual EMR services to patients in all 50 states. This new partnership is the first time UCM has partnered with an EMS and health plan to provide care at home.
MVP Health Care is a New York-based not-for-profit health insurance organization serving members in New York and Vermont.
If an MVP member makes an emergency call, an EMS worker will be dispatched to the member’s location.
First Aid partnering with UCM now will have access to the UCM team, including their medical staff and team of care coordinators, to provide services to patients in their homes.
EMTs or paramedics will then work with a trained UCM emergency medicine physician virtually to quickly treat patients with non-life-threatening conditions.
“You can get the same emergency team that you would get in the emergency room, you can have a paramedic come in and do a lot of the things that we could do in the emergency room — including assessment and some of the treatments — and that will provide the patient with just an incredible benefit of being treated at home versus a hospital,” Algozin said.
A program like this also tackles bigger-picture issues like overcrowded emergency rooms and unnecessary trips to the hospital.
“It’s much more than just treating this patient,” Algozin said. “Our emergency medicine system, our emergency care and our hospital inpatient facilities are at a dangerously critical level. They cannot accept any more patients. So by doing that on an individual level, which obviously provides quality care that the patient likes at a lower cost, what we’re really doing is something that we believe is much bigger. We are saving the system from collapse.”
For EMS organizations, the program allows them to use their resources appropriately, Algozzine added.
Today, the Treatment in Place program is ready to be implemented and delivered to MVP members in 18 New York counties, with plans to expand statewide.
There is and always will be a need for what the emergency room provides, Algozin said. But now, in an age where digital health and virtual care are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare field as a whole, the emergency room is getting the same treatment.
“It’s not just because it’s 24/7, because a lot of people work 24/7 these days,” Algozin said. “But it’s the team of people. Anywhere else in healthcare has an appointment with a person. There’s a team of people in this world ready to say, “No matter what your problem is, we’re ready to take care of you.” That’s what we’ve built, except we’ve virtualized it.
Algozzine said UCM is already talking to several other payers about joining, calling future partnerships “a no-brainer.”
“This program represents MVP and UCM’s unwavering commitment to making health care more affordable, convenient and accessible for our customers, while creating new opportunities for efficiencies and savings in the health care system,” said MVP Health Care President and CEO Chris Del Vecchio in a statement.