Lakewood, CO – West Metro Fire Rescue will debut a new type of emergency medical care- focused on treating patients at home and cutting back on unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Known as an Advanced Resource Medic- or ARM car, the specially-equipped ambulance is designed like at-home urgent care, with medical personnel on board, able to diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses and injuries.
“This is a big step forward for us in patient care and gives us an opportunity to better serve our district,” said Fire Chief Don Lombardi, West Metro Fire Rescue. “Before the ARM car, our only option was to transport patients to the emergency room. Now, if their symptoms make it possible- we’ll be able to keep them at home or at work and treat them there.”
The ARM car, which will debut on May 21, is a partnership between West Metro and DispatchHealth. A West Metro advanced practice paramedic, and a DispatchHealth nurse practitioner or physician assistant will staff the car. The car itself is equipped with a certified laboratory and medical supplies and the crew will be able to treat a variety of ailments, including the flu, minor sprains and fractures, skin infections, dehydration, joint or back pain and more. They can also administer IV fluids, prescribe medications, and perform blood tests and rapid infectious disease tests and suture cuts.
“By partnering with West Metro Fire Rescue, medical care at a far lower cost than an emergency room,” said Dr. Mark Prather, DispatchHealth co-founder and CEO. “So not only is our on-demand urgent care delivery model great for the patient, but it also takes some of the burden off overwhelmed ER doctors and nurses.”
Treatment through the ARM car can be billed to most major insurance companies. If patients are uninsured, they’ll be charged a flat fee of $275, which includes medications, procedures and lab tests. DispatchHealth will also follow up with the patient’s primary care physician. The ARM car can be assigned to a case following an initial 911 emergency call and after the responding West Metro crews determine whether the patient’s symptoms and situation fit the ARM car profile.
West Metro Fire Rescue answers more than 34,000 calls a year. In 2017, 70 percent of the calls were for emergency medical services and most resulted in a transport to the hospital. On average, treatment at an emergency room in the United States costs around $2,000.
“With the rising cost of healthcare, we believe the ARM car can really make a difference in lives of the patients we treat,” said Lomba
About West Metro Fire Rescue:
West Metro Fire Rescue is a full-service, all-hazard fire and rescue agency that is internationally-accredited and rated ISO Class 1. West Metro serves nearly 280,000 residents in the cities and towns of Lakewood, Morrison, Golden, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater. The District also serves sections of Jefferson and Douglas County and unincorporated Littleton, Colorado.
WMFR is committed to providing professional fire protection, emergency medical services, life safety and community service with a vision that shapes the future.
Visit us at www.westmetrofire.org.
DispatchHealth offers consumers on-demand medical care in their homes or place of work in order to increase quality and convenience and dramatically reduce unnecessary cost.
The company’s mobile technology platform extends the capabilities healthcare teams, health systems and payers to serve patients where they can access care most conveniently.
DispatchHealth has raised $37 million, led by Alta Partners and Questa Capital, to rapidly expand its services and partnerships.
For more information, visit www.DispatchHealth.com.