DispatchHealth has formed a new partnership with Included Health, a virtual-first health care company that helps connect providers and health plans to deliver at-home care.
Included Health’s clinical approach to virtual care was one of the main selling points for DispatchHealth, its CEO and co-founder Mark Prather told Home Health Care News.
“I really liked their vision, and really liked the care management-first and a more clinical approach to virtual care,” Prather said. “We started talking and figured, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a high-acuity partner in the home that you could activate when there was a need rather than sending the patient to brick and mortar?’”
The Denver-based DispatchHealth is an in-home medical care provider that serves over 50 markets across the U.S. The company has raised over $700 million in funding to date.
Through the partnership, Included Health’s virtual primary care clinicians will be able to coordinate with DispatchHealth’s team of nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other care team members to provide instant and convenient care in the home.
The match for the two companies seemed rather obvious, Prather said, given that the two already had some of the same employer and payer partners.
Essentially, the two companies are working side by side. That’s why a partnership felt like a good fit.
“Today, we probably work in parallel,” Prather said. “We’re seeing some patients in that employee population that would have gone to the ER. Instead, they know about Dispatch and they’re interacting with us. IncludedHealth, meanwhile, is managing some of the more chronic conditions of those patients or they’re answering the call for virtual urgent or primary care. If you put those two things together, it should augment the solution and we should be able to capture more of those patients to reduce costs for those entities.”
DispatchHealth has been growing at a steady pace for the last several years. As it has become comfortable in new markets, Prather said the company is looking for new ways to augment its presence in those markets.
Besides making operational sense, the partnership hopefully adds another cost-saving opportunity for Dispatch’s current payer partners.
“We all have seen that care is heading out of high-cost settings,” Prather said. “Either your surgery is headed to ambulatory surgery center or your admission that once required a stay in the hospital is now in the home. Whatever that is, that is the trend and there’s lots of ways to accomplish that. There’s the high-acuity care that’s delivered in the home — which is DispatchHealth — or there’s very high quality virtual care that’s delivered by a variety of entities throughout the country. You put those two together, and they’re very powerful.”
Together, the two companies “will supplement care that begins online with on-demand, in-home support,” according to a press release.
“Working with DispatchHealth is an incredible extension to our service,” Ami Parekh, chief health officer for Included Health, said in a statement. “One that will remove the friction, travel and stress associated with visiting a resource-strained emergency room or urgent care center and allow our members to be treated and recover in an often preferred setting – the home.”