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Hillsborough Program Focuses on Frequent Users of EMS System

EMS | Emergency Room | Health Care

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay program is designed to help frequent users of emergency services improve overall health and thereby help reduce health-care costs.

TAMPA – 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 under-served 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 Crisis Center said, 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.  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, center officials said.

Clara Reynolds | Crisis Center of Tampa Bay | Health Care
Clara Reynolds

“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 and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

David Pizzo, Florida Blue Market president, West Florida, said, “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. 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.”

The mission of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is to ensure that no one in the community has to face crisis alone. The organization acts as the community’s gateway to help, hope, and healing, and provides crisis and trauma services. Responding to more than 160,000 requests for help each year, the nonprofit agency offers a range of evidence based programs designed to meet community needs.

For information about the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, go to

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay | Emergency Medical Services | EMS | Paramedicine | Paramedics | Health Care | Tampabay News

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