Uber-like urgent care brings back home-care medical visits

- A medical service in Houston is bringing back home-care visits with just a click of a button. Dispatch Health functions as a full-service urgent care that shows up right to your door step.

To book an appointment, patients can call, visit the website or download the "Dispatch Health" app. After registering and filling out information about their symptoms, patients will be notified what time and who to expect at their door.

"Every patient within five minutes of requesting will get an estimated time of arrival," said Kim Bergeron, marketing director at Dispatch Health. 

Bergeron said a medical professional typically will arrive at a patient's doorstep in between an hour and 15 minutes to two hours. 

"Think of this service as like the Uber for urgent care. It's essentially a mobile urgent care service," Bergeron said.

Each call dispatches a certified EMT and nurse practitioner equipped with full-service kits to treat most non-emergency conditions, from repairing wounds to treating dehydration.

72-year-old Michael Moran said his allergy symptoms wouldn't go away for several weeks, and he wasn't able to get a doctor's appointment at his primary care provider for nearly two months.

"My eyes are really itchy and when I blow my nose there's bloody discharge. Sometimes I get chest pains too," Moran said. 

"It's really convenient. A lot of times if you have to go to the emergency room, you're there for hours."

The visits are standard, starting with a check on a patient's insurance coverage and questions about their medical history. Once that's clear, the physical exam begins with measuring the patient's vitals.   

Dispatch Health accepts most major insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare. 

"The most that a patient will ever pay is $275 and that is when a patient has no insurance, no benefits, but that's about 8-10x less than an ER visit," Bergeron said.

Houston is currently the only city in Texas where Dispatch Health serves, although they do expect to expand to Dallas at the end of the year. 

Dispatch Health is hosting a ribbon cutting Wednesday afternoon to officially kickstart their launch in the Bayou City. 

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