The Flex Monitoring Team has released findings from their study of rural community paramedicine. A policy brief and full-length report examine the evidence base for community paramedicine in rural communities, the role of community paramedics in the rural healthcare delivery system, challenges faced by states in implementing community paramedicine programs, and the role of the state Flex programs in supporting development of community paramedicine programs, while also providing a snapshot of community paramedicine programs currently being developed and/or implemented in rural ares.
Researchers found that many rural community paramedicine programs are in pilot stages. Most community paramedics in rural areas work within an expanded role rather than an expanded scope of practice, as the latter requires legislative or regulatory changes. Funding and reimbursement are major challenges for these programs; therefore, it is vital that data be collected to demonstrate their value to policymakers.