DispatchHealth Makes First Acquisition, Acquires Mobile Imaging Company

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DispatchHealth has officially transitioned from “up-and-coming startup” to “active acquirer.” The company announced Tuesday that it has made its first-ever purchase by landing Professional Portable X-Ray (PPX), a mobile imaging provider.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Denver, Colorado-based DispatchHealth offers hospital-at-home and mobile high-acuity services through its emergency medicine-trained teams. It currently operates in 29 markets across the U.S., with backing from some of health care’s biggest names.

Meanwhile, Burnsville, Minnesota-based PPX is a mobile radiology company that serves community health care partners in seven states. As part of its services, the company delivers its X-ray, EKG, ultrasound, doppler and bone density services to patients, wherever they may be.

DispatchHealth’s milestone purchase of PPX will allow the company to expand its offerings by bringing imaging into patients’ homes.

In general, the acquisition appealed to the company’s goal of becoming the largest and most comprehensive in-home system of care, Dr. Mark Prather, co-founder and CEO of DispatchHealth, told Home Health Care News.

“We are continuously assessing additions to the platform that is beneficial for our patients, our providers and our partners,” Prather said.

PPX, he noted, was an attractive acquisition because it aligned with DispatchHealth when it came to company culture and organizational goals.

Although DispatchHealth has always had access to home-based radiography and ultrasonography services through external partners and vendors, the acquisition of PPX will enable the company to integrate these services into its business operations.

That gives the company a critical capability and better control as more acute services are shifted into the home.

“Those vendors and partners have a business to run themselves, and we may not be their sole focus,” Prather said. “As a result, the turnaround times and service level, in general, may not be as integrated as we wanted. Much like an emergency room or a hospital, when you need an X-ray or ultrasound, you need it sooner rather than later. It felt like it was natural for us to acquire the business.”

Currently, 22% of DispatchHealth’s acute care visits require radiography, ultrasonography or both services. DispatchHealth expects that this volume will continue to grow as the company expands into new markets.

For now, DispatchHealth plans to implement the mobile imaging services in the company’s Phoenix service area before moving into additional markets, according to Prather.

“We actually kicked off the integration as of this week,” he said. “We will spend about a little over a month and a half learning from that integration, and then the next expansion will be Denver, Colorado. Every two to three weeks thereafter, we will expand the PPX capability into DispatchHealth markets.”

Founded in 2013, DispatchHealth has made a name for itself with its hospital-at-home capabilities and other innovative initiatives. The company’s Advanced Care model, which was first launched in 2019, has been found to save thousands of dollars per patient.

In recent years, the company has formed partnerships with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), as well as health systems such as Baystate Health and MultiCare.

Last month, DispatchHealth raked in an additional $200 million in a Series D funding round, bringing its overall fundraising total to more than $417 million since launching.

“Our goal to provide excellent patient care outside the traditional hospital or clinic setting aligns well with DispatchHealth’s mission to build the most advanced in-home care model, making them the perfect partner to support our ongoing growth,” Sue McNamee, CEO and co-founder of PPX, said in a press release. “By integrating our expertise in mobile imaging with DispatchHeath’s unique technology-enabled care model, the company is uniquely positioned to become the marketplace for in-home healthcare services nationwide.”

The global mobile imaging services market size is expected to reach $2.05 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research Inc.

Ultimately, Prather believes in the importance of having multiple services available under one roof.

“There’s a need for all of these services to be in one place,” he said. “Otherwise, the ability to deliver high-acuity care is diminished. Imagine if you went into an emergency room and you ordered … an X-ray and it came back in six hours. You just can’t function that way. We need to aggregate those services that are necessary for high acuity care.”

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