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DispatchHealth partners with Philips to bring urgent-care home visits to seniors in Arizona

DispatchHealth, a mobile urgent care provider that conducts house calls, teamed up with health technology company Philips for a pilot program that connects Arizona seniors with emergency in-home care.

Under the pilot program, members of Mercy Care — a health plan that serves Medicaid members in Arizona — will receive Philips Lifeline personal alert buttons. When a member presses the Philips Lifeline medical alert within their home, they will be connected to the DispatchHealth support center.

The center can then send a medical team the patient's home to address various common or complex injuries and illnesses.  

The pilot  program aims to reduce the volume of unnecessary hospital transports and admissions among Mercy Care's  aging patient population. Of the 1,362 emergency medical calls placed by Mercy Care members in 2018, 73 percent resulted in an emergency medical services visit, and 22 percent resulted in hospital transport.

"Emergency department visits are often a quality-of-life tipping point for many seniors, as their ability to live independently often diminishes after a hospitalization," DispatchHealth Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Riddleberger said in a news release. "Together with Philips, we can discover opportunities to right-size care and treat medical conditions in the home without a trip to the hospital, delivering more appropriate utilization of resources and improved patient satisfaction."

The results of the pilot program, including overall cost and utilization of DispatchHealth services as initiated through Philips Lifeline, are expected in spring 2019.

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