Flu Complications Hit Seniors Hard; House Calls can Help

woman receiving care from her home

Last year’s influenza outbreak was not only severe, but drawn out. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 21-week season, from October – May, was the longest in 10 years. Additionally, more than 600,000 people sought treatment for the flu in emergency rooms despite the CDC advising against it. As people traveled to ERs and hospitals with chills, body aches, fever, headache and other symptoms, they put everyone who came within six feet at risk of contracting the illness.

The flu, in particular, is devastating for seniors

The flu is especially dangerous for young children, seniors and those with chronic illnesses.

A healthjournalism.org blog post dramatically sums it up: “CNN reported that this year’s flu had hit people in every state except Hawaii (and District of Columbia), with more than 60,000 people affected by early January. For older people, 7 percent of deaths by late December were due to flu and pneumonia, which is how CDC tracks this data. Not surprisingly, older adults are the group most often hospitalized due to the virus and its complications. The Chinook (Washington) Times reports that those over age 65 are dying from flu and pneumonia at a rate nearly six times higher than usual.”

A house call can help

Influenza is highly contagious and treatment at home can prevent the spread of the disease to these vulnerable patients. But with a quick call to 1-866-FLU-CREW, people can have trained emergency care providers delivered to their doorstep. Last year alone, DispatchHealth treated thousands of flu cases, with nearly one-fourth of all visits being flu-related during the 2018 – 2019 season.


“We want to make it as easy as possible for people who are sick with the flu to get help. Our Traveling Flu Crew is capable of treating an array of flu symptoms and for higher need patients  living with chronic disease or are above the age of 65,” said Mark Prather, CEO and co-founder of DispatchHealth. “We are also a convenient and affordable solution for patients with trouble accessing care who feel like the ER is their only option.”

Seniors with Medicare or commercial insurance generally pay $6-$45 with DispatchHealth—minimizing cost concerns that often are a barrier to getting treatment. (Uninsured seniors pay a flat rate of $275.) And the treatment comes to them instead of having to deal with the hassles of traveling and other obstacles facing the mobility-challenged.

Saving time is another huge benefit of DispatchHealth house calls. Setting an appointment easily and receiving care quickly are two hallmarks of the DispatchHealth model. Initial outreach to make an appointment is done via phone, online or an app. After contact is made, a clinical evaluation is conducted to make sure that a house call is the best course of action.

Once the appointment is confirmed, DispatchHealth’s board-certified medical team shows up at a patient’s door within one to two hours. The team spends an average of 55 minutes with the patient to thoroughly diagnose and treat conditions, and make recommendations as warranted.

All of this adds up to top-notch treatment that fully addresses concerns and provides reliably professional care. So no matter if it’s a common cold, a nasty flu virus or even pneumonia, instead of driving to the clinic, have the clinic drive to you.

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