Medstar, Southern Michigan’s largest emergency medical services (EMS) and mobile healthcare provider, has been selected to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model. 

Most beneficiaries who call 911 with a medical emergency are therefore transported to one of these facilities, and most often to a hospital emergency department, even when a lower-acuity destination may more appropriately meet an individual’s needs. The participants in our ET3 Model will be able to deliver care to patients at the right time and place. We congratulate the applicants selected to participate in the Model, and we look forward to working with them on testing new payments for emergency transport to improve patient care. 
CMS Administrator, Seema Verma

Currently, CMS only covers emergency ground ambulance services when Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries are transported to specific types of facilities, most often a hospital emergency department. The ET3 Model gives ambulance teams two new options:

  • Transport a beneficiary to an alternative destination (such as a primary care doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic); or
  • Initiate and facilitate treatment in place by a qualified healthcare practitioner, either in-person on the scene or via telehealth.

This is the first time there has been a change in the reimbursement model since ambulance services became a Medicare-covered benefit. 

“Not everyone needs to go to the emergency department, but everyone deserves the right care at the right time and right place,” said Kolby Miller, Medstar CEO. “The ET3 Model recognizes the value EMS providers bring when determining the most appropriate care for a patient during a 911 call. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) was challenged to pick the most innovative, clinically advanced EMS agencies in the country, and I’m proud that Medstar was selected.” 

Medstar is one of only 205 of the 11,000 transporting EMS providers in the country selected to participate in the voluntary, 5-year project, which is set to begin this spring. For more information about the ET3 Model, visit

About Medstar
Medstar is Southern Michigan’s largest and most integrated 911 EMS and mobile healthcare provider, serving more than 190,000 patients annually throughout lower Michigan. Originally created in 1993 by two local hospitals committed to quality EMS in their communities, the nonprofit now serves communities in nine counties, and the stakeholder health systems now include Ascension-Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, and the McLaren Healthcare Corporation. For more information, visit


Anne Hein

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