Newton, MA-based Five Star Senior Living will bring on-demand, acute medical care directly to its independent living, assisted living and memory care community residents through a new collaboration with in-home medical service provider DispatchHealth, Five Star announced Thursday.
Denver-based DispatchHealth will provide treatment for things such as viral and bacterial infections, asthma attacks, wounds, bed sores and pressure ulcers, and minor fractures and sprains.
“We believe that adding DispatchHealth’s unique care model to expand Five Star’s existing clinical services offering will bring peace of mind to families, knowing that their loved ones may be able to avoid unnecessary and expensive trips to the emergency room, where they could be exposed to more serious illnesses, such as COVID-19,” Five Star President and CEO Katie Potter said in a statement.
“As DispatchHealth’s U.S. footprint grows, we look forward to expanding our partnership and making this unparalleled medical service available to as many of our valued residents as possible,” she added.
During the first half of this year, Five Star and DispatchHealth piloted a program in some independent living and assisted living communities. The companies said the collaboration helped reduce emergency department visits and increase access to immediate care. Currently, DispatchHealth is working in 25 Five Star communities, with more to be added next year.
According to Five Star, most insurance plans will cover the costs of DispatchHealth’s in-home services, and more than 85% of Five Star residents using the services had no out-of-pocket expenses.
“Research shows unnecessary hospitalizations can be harmful to seniors and that clinical outcomes actually improve when individuals can be cared for in their residence,” DispatchHealth CEO Mark Prather, M.D., MBA, said in a statement. “We believe, whenever possible, it’s best to keep aging adults out of the emergency department and treat their acute medical conditions in the location they feel most comfortable, and at a lower cost, which is what our clinical collaboration with Five Star achieves.”