‘We’re bolstering up our team’: DispatchHealth prepares to treat patients at home with mobile Flu Crew

Published: Sep. 23, 2019 at 7:52 AM MDT
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With the first day of autumn here, it’s time to start thinking about flu season.

DispatchHealth said it’s working to hire more people to treat people who get sick this year.

“This year, we’re going to treat about 6,000 people in Colorado Springs, and 90,000 people nationally,” said Carah Campini, DispatchHealth’s Colorado market director. “Typically, about 25 percent of our patients during flu season we’re treating for the flu.”

DispatchHealth is a mobile medical service that was started in Denver a few years ago. People can call to have a team dispatched to their house, school or work to treat them for illness or injury.

“In addition to the flu, folks can really think about us for a lot of those conditions that people go to the ER for,” Campini said. “So everything from migraines to back pains to sprains and strains, minor fractures, UTIs, dehydration, all that kind of thing we can treat at home for what’s typically about a tenth of the cost of going to the ER.”

Even though DispatchHealth treats flu symptoms, it said it does not give flu vaccines. According to Campini, the mobile care team treated its first flu patient on Sept. 16.

“Influenza is a really highly contagious illness. It’s really dangerous for the elderly, for the very young and for folks with chronic illnesses,” Campini said. “We prevent the spread of the flu by treating people in their home because, really, when you have the flu, you shouldn’t be around other people. So we’re helping prevent the spread of the flu by treating folks in their homes.”

Campini said the service is also great for parents who have sick children because they don’t have to pack them up just to wait in a doctor’s office or emergency room.

“Our teams spend more time with our patients typically than if you’re treated in an ER,” Campini said. “So anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour with each patient, which means our teams are seeing about seven to 10 patients a day.”

Each team consists of either a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, along with a medical technician. Those health care providers can prescribe medications, order imaging and write doctor’s notes for patients.

“We’re often called out to treat the whole family. I think the most we’ve ever treated was six family members at one time in a house,” Campini said.

DispatchHealth is in-network with all the insurance companies, according to Campini.

“We bill as an Urgent Care, so folks are typically paying $5 to $50 for our care after their insurance,” she said.

People can call 1-866-FLU-CREW to request care or go

. In Colorado Springs, home visits are offered between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day of the year.