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EMTs Make House Calls to Reduce 911 Calls

(MedPage Today) Paramedics in the small, rural South Carolina town of Abbeville would too often respond to a 911 call only to find nonemergencies -- patients struggling to control their diabetes or COPD patients whose symptoms had flared up because they hadn’t taken their medication -- but that is changing.
Most of the time, the emergency responders would stabilize the patients, have them sign a release saying they didn't want to go to the hospital, and leave. But those patients -- with no health insurance and no way to access a doctor or other providers -- would likely call 911 again for similar problems in the not-too-distant future.
But the healthcare community in this town of nearly 6,000 people -- 90 miles west of Columbia, the state's capital -- has now taken steps to prevent these so-called "frequent fliers."
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