Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates (MEMA) staffs Novant Health’s Charlotte-area hospital emergency departments and is partnering to help launch the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) new ET3 program. Dr. Josh Loyd, an emergency medical physician with MEMA and Medical Director of Novant Health’s Critical Care Transport and Med Flight programs has been working to help bring this opportunity to Mecklenburg EMS patients since it was introduced by CMS in 2020.

CMS.gov defines the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) program as an innovative payment model that provides greater flexibility to ambulance care teams to address emergency health care needs of Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries following a 911 call. Historically, Medicare regulations have only allowed payment for EMS when they provide transport services to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and dialysis centers. Often an ambulance is called for services and upon arrival, it is determined the patient does not need to be transported. In this case, EMS is not eligible for reimbursement.

Charlotte has been selected to pilot the new ET3 payment model for Medicaid and Medicare services and MEMA physicians are proud to work with Mecklenburg County EMS and Novant Health on this new program. Now, through the new program, if an ambulance is deployed, the EMS team arrives and it is determined the patient may not need a transport to the hospital, they can use telehealth to connect the patient real-time with an emergency room doctor to determine the next course of action for the patient.

“The ET3 program is a win-win all around.” shares Dr. Loyd. He explains, “Patients receive high-quality care by seeing an emergency physician in real-time and if determined to stay at home, eliminates unnecessary transportation, time, and costs – also leaving EMS to turn units faster which is a great benefit especially during high-capacity times.”

“Novant’s commitment to high quality healthcare continues to expand with the ET3 program. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to connect with high-quality emergency physicians on the spot with the latest telehealth technology and bring healthcare to where they are.” says Kathy Haddix Hill, VP of Emergency Services with Novant Health. “We look forward to seeing how this program helps serve both our patients and community.”

Initially, COVID-19 delayed launching the city-wide ET3 pilot, it was officially launched the week of January 17, 2022.

Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates (MEMA) was founded in 1976.  MEMA is a physician-owned medical practice of more than 120 emergency and acute medical care clinicians that serves the greater Charlotte and Piedmont areas of North Carolina, and the team that staffs Novant Health’s Charlotte-area hospital emergency departments. Learn more about MEMA by visiting our website at www.mema.net.