The Evidence for Community Paramedicine in Rural Areas: State and Local Findings and the Role of the State Flex Program
Community paramedicine (CP) is a quickly evolving field, in both rural and urban areas, as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers look to reduce the use of EMS services for non-emergent 911 calls, overcrowding of emergency departments and health care costs. In rural areas, community paramedics help fill gaps in the local delivery system due to shortages of primary care physicians and long travel times to the nearest hospital or clinic.
This study examined the evidence base for CP in rural communities, the role of community paramedics in rural health care delivery systems, the challenges faced by states in implementing community paramedicine programs and the role of the state Flex programs in supporting the development of CP programs. Additionally, this briefing paper provides a snapshot of CP programs currently being developed and/or implemented in rural areas.