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Syracuse Community Health Center, AMR partner on program to ease ER crunch

By Eric Reinhardt (


CNYBJ file photo by Adam Rombel

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Community Health Center (SCHC) and ambulance-service provider American Medical Response (AMR) in Onondaga County have announced a partnership they contend will help curb demand at area emergency rooms (ERs).

Their effort is part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) program, per a joint news release.

SCHC is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) serving more than 30,000 patients in the Syracuse area

ET3 is a five-year program that seeks to provide “greater flexibility” for ambulance-care teams to address emergency health-care needs of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries following a 911 call.

AMR paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will assess patients on site to determine the level of care needed. Based on that assessment and if the patient wishes, they can be treated in place, transported to an emergency room, or to the Syracuse Community Health Center.

“Emergency rooms in Syracuse are struggling to keep up with demand and this program will help reduce wait times, reduce costs for patients and provide an appropriate level of care for those who don’t need ER care.” Derrick Murry, chief business development officer at Syracuse Community Health Center, said. “We are extremely pleased to be part of this program with AMR and are confident this will help not only the people we serve, but others needing more serious care at area emergency rooms.”

Nick Corbishley, operations supervisor for AMR in Syracuse, said the ET3 program is an “innovative way to provide the most appropriate care” for patient needs.

“AMR Syracuse is proud to be a part of this program, improving and personalizing health care for thousands,” he said.

AMR Syracuse went live with the treatment in place (telehealth) part of the ET3 program in July. The alternative-destination portion of the ET3 program is scheduled to go live on or around Nov. 1.

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