Memphis, TN, March 31, 2021 – Keystone Healthcare Partners (Keystone Healthcare), a leading provider of Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, and Telehealth clinical management services and staffing solutions is set to begin delivering Tele-EMS services in partnership with Mercy Flight. The project is slated to begin on April 1, 2021 in the Springville, New York area.
Keystone Healthcare and Mercy Flight EMS, Mercy Flight’s ground ambulance division, received support for the project from the Western Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (WREMAC) in late 2020.
While Mercy Flight is not one of the 184 participants of CMS’ ET3 Model, the innovative partnership with Keystone Healthcare Partners reflects the same patient-centered reform to the pre-hospital emergency health care delivery model. In particular, Tele-EMS services will improve the quality of patient care while reducing overall cost.
Margaret Ferrentino, Executive Vice President of Mercy Flight, stated, “We’re really excited to bring this innovative service to the Springville area which, nearly 40 years ago, was one of the Western New York communities that helped us launch and sustain our fledgling air ambulance service. This project marks another advancement in the delivery of compassionate medical care to a community that has long been integral to Mercy Flight’s success.”
The change in CMS policy has been long-anticipated, as The Journal of Emergency Medical Services cites that 20-40% of EMS incidents are not urgent and could have been more effectively managed in a primary care setting or clinic. While many healthcare institutions are actively using telehealth, telehealth-delivered EMS service is very new to the market and is ripe for innovation. Keystone Healthcare Partners is committed to being an industry leader. Elizabeth James, MD, FACEP, Keystone’s Director of Emergency Medicine & Telehealth Strategic Solutions noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic did much to accelerate innovation in 2020, but we began exploring the telehealth space prior to those changes. As a company committed to the success of our hospital partners and our clinicians, we are planning and making decisions based on where we know medicine will be five and ten years from now.”
“Put simply, Keystone is in a position to solve the two biggest challenges facing EMS through this partnership. First, faster time to patient/physician interaction. Second, improve efficiencies of EMS. The benefits across the system are exponential, but the problem-solving required to really execute the program well can be underestimated. We are proud to have worked through all of that and be in a position to go live now,” stated Darryl Wenner, DO, Keystone’s Director of EMS.
To support the partnership, Keystone Healthcare Partners is responsible for three key elements:
- Collaborating with Mercy Flight and all regional emergency departments to ensure the care delivery is patient-centered and optimized for efficiency
- Providing virtual ED providers 24/7
- Managing technology, queues, and workflows to encourage appropriate EMS utilization The partnership signals cutting-edge innovation for Emergency Medicine Services, and Keystone’s sentiment toward the partnership is captured by Glenn Adams, President of Keystone Healthcare Partners: “It’s really something we couldn’t be more proud of. Keystone has been delivering emergency medicine services in Western New York for 20+ years, but to expand our expert clinicians to a pre-hospital setting via Tele-EMS is certainly a milestone for us and a meaningful development for the community.”
About Keystone Healthcare
Keystone Healthcare Partners (Keystone Healthcare) is a leading provider of Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, and Telehealth clinical management services and staffing solutions for hospitals. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida and with additional offices in Plano, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee, Keystone Healthcare efficiently delivers high-quality, patient-centered care through strong physician leadership and involved management that drive our innovative and integrated business model and performance metrics. Visit keystonehealthcare.com.
About Mercy Flight
Mercy Flight Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency and non-emergency air and ground (Mercy Flight EMS) medical transport and supporting services; ensuring rapid, safe and cost effective delivery of pre-hospital medical care. Established in 1981, Mercy Flight provides service throughout Western New York and beyond.