Northwest Healthcare closed its urgent care in Sahuarita on May 30, but it didn’t take long for another provider to enter the market.
DispatchHealth, an on-demand, mobile urgent care service, is now operating in the area and comes directly to clients’ homes.
The in-home urgent care can treat the same non-life threatening medical conditions that a typical urgent care facility would – including respiratory infections, fall injuries, flu, migraines and dehydration – while eliminating the need to leave the home for medical care.
DispatchHealth sends a team of care providers to your door within about two hours, which includes a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner and a medical technician.
Brian Oosterbaan, who has worked in Green Valley as a paramedic and serves as the market manager for DispatchHealth in Tucson, said the mobile urgent care offering helps streamline the process of “getting the right care to the right patient.”
“There were many times where I would run a call on a patient that didn’t necessarily need the full capabilities of an emergency room, but was unable to see their primary physician for anywhere from three to six weeks, or were limited in their ability to get transport,” he said.
“Having a service where we can bring a provider into their home – we bring about 70 percent of the emergency room into their home – and then tuck them back into their primary care physician is a really wonderful thing,” he said.
DispatchHealth will operate its mobile teams, called “rovers,” out of its Tucson office, which opened in February, but Oosterbaan hasn’t ruled out putting a physical office in Green Valley or Sahuarita. The mobile urgent care provider has two vehicles and plans to add more over the next few months.
Northwest Healthcare’s exit after more than 10 years on Duval Mine Road left the area with two emergency rooms – Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Green Valley and the recently opened Northwest Medical Center Sahuarita – and no urgent care facility.
Debbie Kenyon, president of the Green Valley Council, said she’s glad to see urgent care returning to the area.
“We were all kind of stunned when that shut down,” she said of Northwest. “I was disappointed, and I guess I understand a little bit, but a lot of people use urgent care.”
Oosterbaan said his team had been looking to expand services to Green Valley and Sahuarita even before launching in Tucson, but news of Northwest’s closure expedited their plans.
“We recognized there was a void that needed to be filled, and there was something that we could do to serve the community,” Oosterbaan said.
“I hate to see a community go without the care that they need,” he said.
A visit with DispatchHeath costs about the same as a walk-in urgent care visit, with patients paying anywhere from $5 to $50 after insurance, on average. If you don’t have insurance, or your coverage is not accepted, DispatchHealth also accepts a $275 flat rate payment at time of treatment.