Founded in 2013 in Colorado, DispatchHealth recently opened in the Phoenix market, with its unique mobile delivery of on-demand healthcare. The goal is to create a “right-sized” acute care delivery platform that provides high-quality, convenient, and low-cost care in the home or place of need. DispatchHealth extends the capabilities of a patient’s care team and provides definitive, quality care in the home for urgent medical needs. The skilled medical teams arrive with all the equipment necessary to provide advanced medical care in the home and are supported by a technological infrastructure that ensures quality and improved outcomes. This new care delivery system fills a gap in the care continuum which has to date been associated with high costs, low patient satisfaction, and poor outcomes.
DispatchHealth brings high-quality care to the patient’s door, increasing both convenience and access to healthcare services. “Our care model has proven acute care can be delivered safely in the convenience of the patient’s home or location of need,” DispatchHealth co-founder and CEO Mark Prather, MD, MBA, said. “Whether caring for an elderly parent, an injured or ill child, or facing an acute illness or injury themselves, consumers have a new option to address on-demand healthcare needs without the expense, inconvenience, and time so often associated with urgent care and emergency department (ED) facilities.”
DispatchHealth is positioned to work as an extension of the patient’s existing care team to allow for improved communication, improved clinical data exchange, and comprehensive care coordination to improve patient outcomes and decrease total cost of care. The house call affords the opportunity to gain insight into a patient’s living situation that is not routinely available to the office or hospital-based clinician. Outcomes have been dramatically different than those of a typical emergency room. “We think the difference has to do with the fact that we spend an average of 50 minutes with our patients. Our providers are taught to look for the ‘why’ behind a given illness, document social determinants of disease when appropriate, and communicate with the patient’s care team on every encounter,” said Kevin Riddleberger, MBA, MS, PA-C, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of DispatchHealth.
DispatchHealth visit costs range from around $150 to $300. This is typically eight to ten times less expensive when compared to a typical ER visit. DispatchHealth has partnered with insurance companies to be a covered service and will bill the patient’s insurance directly for the care provided. DispatchHealth services are currently covered by Medicare, Medicaid, as well as commercial insurance companies in Arizona. You can call their main phone number (480-493-3444) to see if the service is covered by your insurance plan. DispatchHealth has helped save millions of healthcare dollars by providing right-sized acute care. In 2016 alone, DispatchHealth saved over $4.2 million in healthcare cost from avoiding unnecessary emergency room care and ambulance transports. DispatchHealth is on track to save over $20 million dollars in 2017.
DispatchHealth provides care on the patient’s time, rather than the provider’s time, which translates to exceptional patient satisfaction scores. DispatchHealth uses the net promoter score (NPS), which measures the likelihood of a patient to recommend the service to a friend or loved one, as a measure of patient satisfaction. DispatchHealth has always maintained an average NPS score over 90, indicating high customer satisfaction and loyalty. During a DispatchHealth visit, patients are offered the time and attention to ask questions and build a trusting relationship with the medical team.
How does it work?
DispatchHealth services are requested via phone, web, or a mobile app. When an individual calls to request medical care, DispatchHealth uses clinical algorithms to screen the patient’s complaint and to determine the appropriate level of care required. DispatchHealth will not see any illness or injury that is time sensitive or life threatening. Once it is determined that DispatchHealth is appropriate for the individual, a medical team is dispatched to the place of need.
The medical team that goes to each visit consists of an ER-trained and board-certified nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) and an emergency medical technician (EMT). Additionally, there is always an emergency medicine physician on-call who supports the in-home team and is available for consultation. On average, the medical team arrives to the patient’s home between one to two hours.
The medical team provides an in-depth assessment and definitive treatment right in the home. To ensure continuity of care, they provide a detailed report to the primary care provider, as well as any other members of the care team the same day. The report includes assessment of fall hazards, nutritional status, medication compliance, transportation and activities of daily living. DispatchHealth will then bill the insurance directly for the services provided.
Each patient also receives a follow-up phone call from the DispatchHealth medical team three days after the visit to determine how they are doing and to address any questions the patient may have regarding their care plan. At day 14 and day 30 after the visit, the DispatchHealth team checks with the local health information exchange (HIE) in Arizona to determine if the patient bounced back to the ER/hospital for the same or a related complaint.
What’s in the rover?
The DispatchHealth vehicle is equipped with advanced medical equipment and medication formularies, providing the team with the ability to treat anything an Urgent Care can, plus more. Equipment includes a CLIA-certified lab for point-of-care lab tests, an advanced formulary of oral and IV medications, IV fluids, rapid infectious disease tests, a 12-lead EKG machine, nebulizer treatments, urinary catheters, sutures, staples, splinting materials, and much more. DispatchHealth works with mobile imaging companies and freestanding imaging centers to coordinate lower cost imaging studies when necessary.
DispatchHealth providers have access to real-time clinical data within the health information exchange (HIE) and are able to transfer patient level data on-scene to promote care continuity. They vehicles are also WIFI enabled to support vehicle and patient logistics.
Why DispatchHealth is a game changer for seniors
In the senior sector, this new care delivery system has been a welcome and much-needed addition to the care continuum. For older adults in senior living communities, the ED presents a host of challenges. “The ER is frightening, expensive, time-consuming, and something residents avoid at all costs — and that causes them to delay getting needed care. DispatchHealth makes them more proactive — it’s not as scary and they just love the one-on-one care and the follow-up.” said Patricia McBride, RN, MSN, Associate Executive Director of Clinical Services Christian Living Communities in Denver, Colorado. Senior living communities and home health agencies have embraced the services of DispatchHealth as a solution to re-engineer their growing acute healthcare needs for their residents and patients.
DispatchHealth will continue to disrupt the current care delivery system by committing to increased quality, decreased costs, and improved access and experience. DispatchHealth is focused on the development of advanced technology to support in-home care delivery.
Looking forward, DispatchHealth is creating utilization management software that will ultimately direct patients to the right care delivery mechanism for the right complaint. “Eventually, we anticipate the ability to triage patients with very low acuity complaints to either telemedicine or to an appointment with their provider the following day. In the future, we feel the “smart” home — one equipped with sensors and connected devices used to create algorithmic notifications — will also be a major factor in the growth of home-based medicine,” said Riddleberger. “These innovations are already radically changing a long-standing broken system and transforming healthcare for the better.”
DispatchHealth currently services the area of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe. As they grow, they will continue to expand their service area to the East and West Valley.
An updated area of service will be posted on their website and mobile app.
How DispatchHealth Works
In just a few simple steps we’ll get you connected directly
to our medical team, screened, cared for, and back on your feet in no time.
1. Request Care:
Requesting care is easy; simply use our mobile app or website to begin the virtual screening process or call us directly at
2. Explain your symptoms
Our board-certified providers will review your symptoms over the phone to understand what is wrong and get the right care en route. Instead of waiting in a crowded urgent care facility or emergency room, you can rest comfortably at home.
3. Receive quality care in your home
Our ER-trained medical teams arrive on-scene in about an hour and are equipped to treat anything an urgent care can,
4. Rest easy
We’ll call in your prescriptions, update your family doctor, and handle billing with your health insurance company so you can focus on feeling better, faster.
What We Can Treat
Our ER-trained medical teams are well experienced in emergency medicine and are able treat any number of conditions. These are the same providers you would see if you went to your local emergency room. Below are just some of the conditions we treat and procedures we perform.
- Common ailments: fever, cough, flu, headaches / migraines, urinary tract infection, urinary retention, dehydration, anxiety
- Eye: eye infection, eye irritation, pink eye, styes
- Skin: rash, skin infections, skin lesions, lacerations
- Gastrointestinal: upset stomach, nausea / vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation
- Musculoskeletal: joint or back pain, strains or sprains, minor fractures
- Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, seasonal allergies, upper respiratory infection
- Neurologic: weakness, vertigo
- Ear, nose, and throat: strep throat or sore throat, ear infection or pain, sinus infection, nasal congestion, laryngitis, nose bleeds
- Procedures performed
- IV fluid administration
- Advanced blood laboratory testing
- Administration of IV medications
- Stitches and staples
- Wound care
- Splinting of injured extremities
- Incision and drainage of skin lesions
- Rapid infectious disease testing (strep, mono, RSV, flu)
- Urinary catheter insertion
- Nosebleed treatment (cautery and packing)
- Urinalysis and urine pregnancy testing
- G-tube replacement
- 12-lead EKG
- Arranging and coordination of x-rays and ultrasounds
When to call DispatchHealth
For more information, contact: DispatchHealth • Telephone: 480-493-3444 • www.DispatchHealth.com • Hours of Operation: 8am–8pm, 7 days a week, including all holidays
Back to Top
- If you have a non-life threatening illness or injury and want to be seen that day
- If your doctor’s office is closed or they cannot get you a same day appointment
- If you feel too sick to leave the house or to drive somewhere but need medical attention
- If you want to avoid exposure to other germs and infections (especially for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and children)
- If you do not have access to or have a difficult time finding transportation
- If you have obligations such as work or childcare that prevent you from leaving the house or office for hours
- If you have limited mobility or need assistance getting around
- If you do not want to pay the high cost of an emergency room visit and are not experiencing anything life threatening or time sensitive
- If you or a loved one has memory impairment and becomes agitated or confused when transported out of the home
- If you or a loved one has end of life wishes that promote comfort and supportive care and do not wish to be moved to an emergency room