DispatchHealth Teams Up with UCI Health to Offer Acute-Level Home-Based Care

DispatchHealth has teamed with UCI Health to provide same-day in-home medical care throughout Orange County, California.

“This partnership truly aligns with the expectations of UCI Health’s community,” Sara Crate, chief commercial officer at DispatchHealth, told Home Health Care News. “It solves the access challenges of at-risk and often homebound patients.”

Denver-based DispatchHealth offers advanced-level home-based care services through its emergency medicine-trained teams. It operates in 43 U.S. markets, with backing from some of health care’s biggest names.

Meanwhile, UCI Health is the clinical arm of the University of California, Irvine. Its main campus is UCI Medical Center, a 418 bed acute-care hospital.

Through the partnership, UCI Health will leverage DispatchHealth’s platform to coordinate and deliver home-based care to patients. This includes care for conditions, such as viral infections, congestive heart failure and COPD exacerbations.

“Health care is rapidly changing and what our patients want has evolved throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Susanna Rustad, executive director of virtual care at UCI Health, said in a press statement. “Our innovative partnership with DispatchHealth is one more step forward towards building a community benefit and part of our spectrum of solutions to expanding access to care, in a high-quality, safe and sustainable way. DispatchHealth will help us meet our patients where they are and where they want to receive care, in their homes.”

When patients request care, a DispatchHealth medical team comes to their homes with the necessary tools and treatment. This can mean on-site diagnostics and a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act)-certified lab.

Plus, patients who are at high risk for readmission will have access to proactive in-home care 24-72 hours post-discharge from an acute-care hospital stay.

Over the years, DispatchHealth has made a name for itself with its hospital-at-home capabilities and other innovative initiatives. Since its inception in 2013, the company’s model has saved $1,100 – $1,700 on average per visit.

The company’s partnership with UCI Health largely falls in line with the company’s overall strategy.

The opportunity to enter the California market only sweetened the deal, Crate said.

“We’ve had our eyes set on California for a while now, because it’s obviously one of the largest populations in the U.S. and growing,” she said. “We’ve been following the way California has taken the lead on managing population health, it’s one of the most innovative states around ensuring access to integrated health care. We were looking to partner with a leading organization, and that’s why we chose UCI Health. It was paramount for DispatchHealth to enter California and to serve those patients.”

DispatchHealth and UCI Health’s alignment when it comes to mission also made the partnership an attractive opportunity.

“Together, we’re focused on a shared mission, which is providing patients with the care they need when they need it,” Crate said. “We also look for health systems that are continually trying to innovate around the health care delivery model, with an emphasis on improving quality and reducing the cost of care for the patients. UCI health fits the partnership criteria for us. They’ve got a keen focus on bringing safe, effective care to the Southern California population.”

Crate believes that DispatchHealth’s ability to scale across multiple markets over the past six years has prepared them to serve a market as large as Southern California.

“We’re entering a really large market at scale within a rigorous regulatory environment, and we’re prepared to do,” she said.

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