Emergency Medical Services

Prior to the early 1970s and the advent of modern emergency medical services (EMS), ambulance services were mainly sources of transportation for the emergently ill and injured. EMS as we know it today is often referred to as the “EMS 2.0”. While EMS is geared toward intervening in high acuity and other injuries and medical emergencies, a significant portion of the patients it is called to help do not have an emergency of this sort. EMS has continued to be largely funded on a fee-for-service basis, and mainly for transportation.

Currently, the health care industry is undergoing profound change, moving away from dependency on fees assessed for the volume of services provided and toward a people-centered, value-based operation that rewards positive patient outcomes. Transformation to a next evolutionary stage is necessary if EMS is to thrive and play an integral part in the changing health care system. This collection of resources is intended to help rural EMS adapt and become a more integrated part of the evolving health care system.