U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), joined by U.S. Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), are advocating for the implementation of a “treat-in-place” healthcare model in West Virginia. In a joint press release, the lawmakers called on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to consider this approach to address challenges faced by West Virginia hospitals and emergency medical services (EMS) providers.
The proposed “treat-in-place” model aims to streamline the handling of low-acuity 911 calls by establishing medical triage lines. Trained professionals would remotely assess the situation and provide guidance or treatment at the scene, eliminating the need for certain emergency room visits.
The proposal has received support from the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), the West Virginia Hospital Association (WVHA), and a coalition of emergency medicine physicians, EMS providers, and payers. The lawmakers emphasize that the treat-in-place model aligns with the goals of better utilizing EMS and hospital staff while improving patient care, especially in rural areas.
The legislators have called for CMS to review the proposal and explore a statewide, multi-payer demonstration to address challenges in West Virginia’s healthcare sector.