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CMS launches new model for paying ambulance crews—even if they don't transport to the ER

February 14, 2019 / Paige Minemyer

The Trump administration is launching a new model that would pay first responders even if they opt not to take a patient to the hospital. The Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) model will pay first responders when they transport patients by ambulance to urgent care or their primary care provider, and will also cover care provided by EMS onsite, either in-person or through telehealth. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the goal of the model is to end the incentives for first responders to transport patients to the emergency room, where care is more costly and can take longer.