Denver, Colorado-based Dispatch Health (formerly True North Health Navigation), which developed a doctor house call service, has raised $3.6 million from investors including EMP Holdings, which has previously invested in iTriage, which was acquired by Aetna in 2011, and StatHealth, which was acquired by Teladoc in 2015.
“Our care model has proven acute care can safely be handled in the convenience of the patient’s home or location of need,” Dispatch Health CEO Mark Prather said in a statement. “Whether caring for an elderly parent, an injured or ill child, or facing an acute illness or injury themselves, consumers now have a new option to address individual healthcare needs without the expense, inconvenience and time requirements often associated with urgent and emergency care facilities."
The company offers its services to patients through local municipalities, 911 first response systems, health systems, payers, and senior care facilities. When consumers place a call to 911 or another channel where Dispatch Health is present, the company will vet the patient through clinical algorithms to determine if a Dispatch Health team can help the patient. If they can, then a medical team is dispatched in a car, which is staffed by acute care clinicians. The car is equipped with a CLIA-certified lab, medical equipment, medications and IVs, and wifi connectivity.
The company adds that Dispatch Health has contracts with major payers in Colorado and can bill insurance directly for the care provided. Dispatch also offers a flat fee for uninsured patients.
Dispatch Health is currently operating at Denver-based South Metro Fire Department. The company has seen more than 400 patients through that channel. In a few weeks, Dispatch plans to place private vehicles on the road and will announce its first hospital partnership shortly. Through the hospital partnership, Dispatch will help manage at-risk patient populations, and co-market services to self-insured employers.
Doctor house call services have started to gain traction recently -- two similar companies have also made news in the last few months.
One such company, New York City-based Pager, raised $14 million in July. Consumers can use the app to schedule an appointment with a doctor, who will meet them at their home, office, or hotel room. The service costs $50 for the first “urgent care” visit and $200 for each visit after that. The visit includes on-site testing, treatments, surgical sutures, and first-dosage of most prescriptions, though it does not include X-rays, lab tests, or a physical.
Another, Los Angeles-based Heal, raised $5 million in June. Users pay $99 to have a doctor come to their house in under an hour. Patients are able to receive many of the services that they get at a doctor visit like an annual physical, blood tests, specialist recommendations, and prescription delivery. Doctors will bring digital health tools to visits, including an AliveCor ECG and CellScope otoscope.