Council Connect Articles

Sacramento Hospitals Experiencing Increased Ambulance Patient Offload Times


  • Hospital Council staff 
  • Senior leaders from four Sacramento health systems 
  • Local fire chiefs 
  • Sacramento County Emergency Medical Services Agency (SCEMSA) officials


Hospital Council convened meetings between hospital executives, fire chiefs, and SCEMSA officials to share concerns, challenges, limitations, and responsibility for increasing ambulance “wall times.”

Takeaway/Next Steps

Conversations diffused tensions and centered around SCEMSA implementing an alternate destination policy and treat-and-refer policy so that paramedics can refer or transport low-acuity patients somewhere other than an emergency department, which is allowed under the current state of emergency. Hospital executives committed to partner with urgent care facilities that would be willing and able to receive low-acuity ambulance transports.