MedStar Health, DispatchHealth Announce New Partnership To Provide Acute Care At Home

MedStar Health – a Washington, D.C.-based health system known to value home-based care – is teaming up with DispatchHealth.

DispatchHealth originally made a name for itself as a provider of higher-acuity care services in the home. Over the last few years, however, it has dramatically expanded its offerings, and now the company delivers in-home care for everything from routine health conditions to post-hospital recovery.

By partnering with DispatchHealth, MedStar says it will be able to provide acute care services in qualifying patients’ homes after their discharge from a MedStar Health emergency department or hospital. That care can usually start receiving in-home care within 72 hours, too, according to MedStar.


Patients who have especially high hospital-readmission risk are a focus of the new collaboration.

“MedStar Health is committed to expanding the continuity of the safest and highest quality care through a unique new partnership in Washington, D.C.,” Dr. Ethan Booker, chief medical officer for telehealth at MedStar Health, said in a statement. “I’ve worked in the emergency department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center for 19 years and know that when a patient goes home, they sometimes need another touchpoint.”

Through the program, MedStar Health providers will connect patients to DispatchHealth based on clinical need, plus geographic and insurance criteria. Selection for the program generally happens before patients’ discharge from inpatient units or the emergency department.


DispatchHealth brings to the table medical technicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and emergency medicine doctors who support in the home and remotely. Specific conditions cited by MedStar for acute care at home include urinary tract infections, pneumonia, dehydration and COPD exacerbations.

“DispatchHealth’s proven model bridges the gap between hospital and home to enhance patient experiences, improve health outcomes and reduce costs,” Dr. Phil Mitchell, chief medical officer for DispatchHealth, said in a statement.

DispatchHealth has several health system partnerships, including arrangements with Baystate Health MultiCare. A 2020 study looking at DispatchHealth’s work with MultiCare found that DispatchHealth ultimately helped MultiCare lower its total cost of care by $1,509 per patient.

Additional research has also shown that DispatchHealth’s Advanced Care program is able to significantly lower 30-day readmission rates.

Stretching back to even before the Covid-19 crisis, DispatchHealth’s success and momentum has reflected the broader health care sector’s interest in home-based care innovation. The in-home care company has raised more than $733.2 million since its launch, according to Crunchbase.

On its end, MedStar and its facilities have long worked with home-based care partners.

Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, for instance, was able to reduce its readmission rate by 44% through a pilot program with Georgetown Home Care.

Executives from both MedStar and DispatchHealth spoke together on a panel moderated by Home Health Care News at the 2023 Capital+Strategy Conference. Among the topics discussed: building successful in-home care partnerships.

“It’s about really understanding each other’s roles and understanding clinical protocols together,” Kevin Riddleberger, co-founder and chief strategy officer at DispatchHealth, said at the HHCN event. “How do we continue to look at improving on different patient cases together, sending clinical data back and forth. That’s where we get the best outcomes with our partnerships with home health agencies.”

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