For many seniors living with chronic conditions like diabetes or dementia, ambulance trips and ER visits are a frequent and costly fact of life.
Mark Prather saw patients struggle with access and economic challenges time and again as an emergency room doctor, and knew there had to be another way. So he founded DispatchHealth to bring care directly to patients.
“If you talk to any ER doctors about what we’re doing, this makes sense to them,” said Prather, who now serves as the company’s CEO. “It becomes obvious where the problems are.”
His goal is to improve in-home care and reduce costs for all patients, but especially for seniors and those for whom travel can be difficult. And on Tuesday, DispatchHealth closed a $33 million growth equity round to expand those services.
Prather told Built In that the company will use the funding to accelerate investment in its mobile app and logistics platform, and more than double its market coverage from 11 cities in eight states to about 25 cities.
DispatchHealth was founded in 2013 in Denver to offer on-demand health care. Whether a patient has the flu or is suffering from a laceration, they can request care via the phone, mobile app or website, and a medical team will arrive within two hours, according to the company.
According to Prather, the on-demand service is designed to cut down on costly and unnecessary ER visits, of which about 22.2 million occur each year. Visiting homes also enables DispatchHealth to collect data to spot trends in care and identify social determinants of health.
In addition to expanding its services, the funding round will help the company launch new care plans for patients who require repeat visits for follow-ups.
Echo Health Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Alta Partners, Questa Capital and others.