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Billings Clinic, DispatchHealth bring health care to patients at home

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 08:40:10-04

BILLINGS - A new program brings health care to your home instead of having to go to the emergency room.

Billings Clinic is the first in Montana to have the service from DispatchHealth, which opened on Thursday.

It costs less and management says that it's also better for the patients.

A health clinic on wheels is what a doctor's office can look like in the 21st century.

"Basically we have all of our medications that we can administer on scene," said Keri Daballo, DispatchHealth nurse practioner.

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KTVQ photo

And inside this SUV, you'll find just about everything needed to treat a patient, with all of its strategically packed inside a good old-fashioned tackle box.

Trained medical providers at DispatchHealth can now travel around Billings, treating all kinds of illnesses and injuries.

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KTVQ photo

"We are trying to provide that extremely high level of care in the comfort of a patient's home with all of the same resources that you would otherwise get in hospital," said Dr. Ari Malka of DispatchHealth.

Patients can avoid going to the emergency room, something that has been in demand over the last two years.

"Especially with COVID, people are worried about coming to the emergency department," said Dr. Larry Severa, Billings Clinic geriatrics chair. "so having a professional, have an advanced provider come to your home and see you there I think it's gonna be really beneficial."

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KTVQ photo

And according to DispatchHealth, emergency room visits can cost thousands of dollars. And this is billed as urgent care.

"We're expanding the number of insurances that we are contracted with but if you have no insurance at all, the maximum you would pay out of pocket is $275," Malka said.

DispatchHealth is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays.

"Having that evening, ability to call DispatchHealth to see somebody or on the weekend, that's going to be actually really vital," Severa said.

Severat treats patients in nursing homes and assisted living and says they do better at home.

"When you see somebody in their own home. You don't have any false barriers on what's really happening," he said.

"People just do better in their home, statistically. People, you know, will feel better and so if we can bring that love comfort to them," said Daballo. "That's our goal."