New DC 911 service will connect callers with less serious injuries to nearby primary care providers

Residents in the District who call 911 with less serious and non-life-threatening injuries will now speak to nurses who can connect them with primary care providers near their homes.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the Right Care, Right Now initiative on Thursday. The newly added nurse triage line will field calls that may be better served and treated in a primary care setting, officials said. The nurse can then help identify a doctor's office in the caller's neighborhood where the patient will be able to receive medical care the same day.

"With Right Care, Right Now, we will be able to connect more Washingtonians with the right types of care and resources when they call for help," said Bowser in a press release. "By freeing up our emergency services for those who really need them while also making better use of medical clinics and facilities throughout all eight wards, we're building a response system that works better for everyone."

Officials said the new program, which will have 23 clinics participating, will help keep residents from using ambulances like taxis to get to the hospital for minor medical injuries, freeing up valuable resources for the city. Currently, officials said they hope the program cuts 150 ambulance runs every day.

The plan accepts all insurances and calls for Medicaid and DC HealthCare Alliance beneficiaries to receive free transportation to the clinic, within one hour of making their call, and free transportation home. Right Care, Right Now will operate every day from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.