FetchMD in the News

On-demand SA health care company expanding amid pandemic

FetchMD CEO Mike Zucker said the company is poised for big growth despite the pandemic in this SABJ article 

San Antonio-based FetchMD has launched a new telehealth division and is exploring growth beyond Texas.

While that expansion is driven in part by the novel coronavirus pandemic, CEO Mike Zucker expects the payoff will far outlive it.

“We’ve been busy. We have not seen a slowdown,” Zucker said.

FetchMD’s primary business was providing consultation and care to patients in their homes or offices. That changed in March. The Alamo City provider was contemplating other ways to reach more patients before the pandemic, having developed the capability to offer telehealth through its FetchMD app. But it was using that technology in a limited capacity, mainly for follow-up visits.

Now, it's essentially become FetchMD's core business, given that many people have reservations about going to an urgent care center where there are many other people, Zucker said. Also, he said, many primary care offices are closed.

"This has become a go-to service," he said.

Before the pandemic, company officials saw this platform as something they could introduce across Texas. Now, they’ve set their sights wider, looking at states that touch Texas, Zucker said.

Doing so is easier than it used to be, he said, due to loosening of regulations that may better enable medical professionals in one state to become licensed in another.

Meanwhile, FetchMD is developing a rapid response team that it can send to employers to conduct antibody testing in the short term to help combat the pandemic.

Zucker is optimistic that the growth FetchMD is experiencing will be sustainable — even expandable — on the other side of the pandemic.

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Cold or allergies?

Are you trying to figure out if you are just suffering from seasonal allergies? One of FetchMD's Physicians Discusses Cold and Allergy Symptoms with Fox 7 Austin.            

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The Retail Spillover in Healthcare

There are at least three noticeable ways in which the retail experience is spilling over into healthcare, industry experts say. The first, says Michael Zucker, CEO and co-founder of FetchMD, is convenience. “Consumers have become very aware and attuned to the different ways in which they can acquire services and goods," Zucker says. “Think of Uber, Amazon and Airbnb. Consumers are craving that same kind of experience in healthcare." He adds that customers are also demanding better access and flexibility from providers.   Read the full article here.

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Sarah Talbot With Fetch MD Shares With Jacqueline Sarkissian on FOX 7 Tips to Protect Your Family From Both the Cold and Flu.

FetchMD's Sarah Talbot sat down with Jacqueline Sarkissian on FOX 7 to share tips on how best to protect your family from both the cold and the flu.   Watch the full video here.

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Sarah Talbot Shares Important Tips With KVUE About Avoiding Heat Exhaustion

Sarah Talbot, one of FetchMD's PA-Cs shares important and potentially life-saving tips with KVUE about avoiding heat exhaustion and dehydration during the hottest months of the year.   Watch the full video here.

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Dr. Scott Tolan Shares Flu Prevention Tips on Austin's KXAN Studio 512

So far, this year's flu season isn't nearly severe as last year's, but as our very own, Dr. Scott Tolan told @KXAN's Studio 512, that doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Watch his entire interview for some important flu prevention tips.

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FetchMD Donates Flu Shots to Veterans

On Veteran's Day, it was a true honor to serve the Make a Vet Sweat nonprofit with free flu shots. Watch how FetchMD is working towards making a more healthy future for our vets.

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Get On-Demand Care in Your Home or Office with FetchMD

Avoid the waiting room at the doctor's office and get personal treatment right in your own home or office. It's what FetchMD is all about.   Sarah Talbot, a physician assistant with FetchMD, a modern-day house call service, joined us at Studio 512 to discuss what kinds of illnesses they’re treating now that kids are back in school. She also provided helpful tips to parents on how to best keep your kids healthy and when and why the entire family should get flu shots.   Read the full article here.

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FetchMD: New app delivers San Antonio doctors to your door

Feeling sick and need a house call? There's an app for that. FetchMD will send a doctor right to your home to help you with your medical needs. In today’s world, you can use your phone to order a ride, get a hot meal delivered, and even have groceries delivered to your front door. Now, just in time for flu season, doctors are bringing house calls back with an app that brings the doctor to you. From allergies to skin infections and tummy troubles, FetchMD brings your most common healthcare needs right to your front door. Michael Zucker is the founder and CEO of the San Antonio-based company. “We were getting calls all the time about how people just couldn’t get in to see their doctors, or they didn’t know where to go for very minor things,” he said. Yvette Miller and her family have been using the company for a few years. “There’s convenience in having somebody come out to your house when your kid is sick,” she said. “Instead of spending hours going to the doctor’s office, subjecting them to maybe more germs.” Read the full article here.

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SABJ honors the 2018 Health Care Heroes

The San Antonio Business Journal proudly presents this year's Health Care Heroes. This year, we bring you 23 special people working in several different capacities who share a common purpose — helping people get and/or remain well.   Read the full article here.

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On-demand SA health company partnering with H-E-B to expand services

FetchMD Inc. has made another move to bolster its aggressive expansion efforts. The San Antonio-based company, which provides on-demand health services via private house calls, is partnering with H-E-B Pharmacy to boost its offerings.   Read the full article here.

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Ranger Health's On-Demand House Call Service Set to Become FetchMD with Official Name Change

Ranger Health, the innovative on-demand healthcare and technology service company based in San Antonio, is officially changing the name of its popular on-call service to FetchMD and expanding into Austin and several other markets in 2018.

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SA on-demand health and technology company expanding to Austin

Responding to increased demand for its FetchMD program, the San Antonio-based health and technology company is taking the on-demand home-health service to Austin.   Read the article here.

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Uber-like app for health care wants to bring back the house call

FetchMD claims to have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for companies with its "house call" app, which can take care of cuts, sprains and the flu for a flat $119 fee. At the same time, it's allowing some medical practitioners to act like Uber drivers — working where and when they want.   Read the full article here.

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Austin charity offers free flu shots

A local charity took the recent spike in the ongoing flu outbreak into its own hands by offering free flu shots for families struggling financially. For about three hours Tuesday morning, Catholic Charities of Central Texas gave shots to low-income families through Fetch MD, a home-delivery healthcare service center. Suzanne Bautch is the associate director of advancement for Catholic Charities and said this is something important to the people it serves but not always affordable. "They are in need of so much, and this may be one of the things on their list that falls down to the bottom," Bautch said. "It's an extremely awesome offering for us to be able to give right now." Read the full article here.

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House call service to expand medical care options in Central and Northwest Austin

A new house call app, FetchMD, is set to expand its service area to Austin beginning Jan. 29. The company, operated by San Antonio-based Ranger Health, allows individuals to set up house call appointments with physicians assistants and nurse practitioners.   Read the full article here.

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On-call health services on the rise in San Antonio

People can go on the Ranger Health mobile app, call, or go online to request appointments Monday through Saturday.

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House Calls go high-tech with San Antonio Service

Seeing Tasha Despault and Meagan Lewis chatting amiably on the couch in Lewis’ comfortable Terrell Hills home, you might assume they’re just a couple of gal pals visiting. All that’s missing is the coffee.

But then Despault pulls a 6-inch cotton swab from a bag of medical supplies and begins to dab the inside of Lewis’ mouth. Oh, and you realize she’s also wearing a white lab coat.

Truth is, Despault is a physician assistant with Ranger Health On Call, a born-in-San Antonio service launched in September that allows anyone feeling under the weather — or their parents — to summon medical care with a few taps of a mobile app or an old-school phone call for those who still roll that way.

Read the full article here.

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'Clinic on wheels' provides treatment

It's basically a clinic on wheels," said Linda McKenna, a spokeswoman for Ranger Health. "You call us, you let us know what your situation is, and we bring everything to your home or to your office."

McKenna said the team consists of experienced physician assistants who work with a physician and a medical director.

She said they are able to perform physical examinations, stitching, splinting, and can prescribe medication.

  Read the full article here.

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Ranger Health Assisting Companies Struggling With Uncontrollable Healthcare Costs

(SAN ANTONIO) – Startup company Ranger Health has launched in San Antonio and is helping employers save money on rising healthcare costs by negotiating better rates with healthcare facilities using the collective buying power of its member companies. Founded in 2015 by former Tenet Healthcare and Baptist Health System executive Michael C. Zucker, FACHE, Ranger Health introduces local market forces to create a more rational marketplace for employers and their employees. “Healthcare is very one-sided and favors large conglomerates such as regional hospital systems, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, which have tremendous market pricing power,” Zucker said.  “Even the largest employers have little ability to negotiate more favorable terms.  By bringing many employers together onto a common platform, we can amass a considerable buying force.” Ranger Health’s model is simple and does not disrupt employers’ existing health benefit plans, networks, or how claims are filed. To address sky high prices, Ranger Health has pre-negotiated arrangements with healthcare facilities for common hospital admissions and certain outpatient procedures, securing pricing advantages and returning financial savings to member companies’ bottom lines. “Employers are frustrated by outrageous premium increases and irrational prices in our broken healthcare system,” Zucker said. “Ranger Health is at the forefront of a revolution that is empowering the employer. We are creating a new model that works within existing health plan networks and creates stronger alignment between providers and employers.” To date, Ranger Health is working with more than 50 regional employers, which include more than 20,000 lives.  For employers large and small, coming together on a platform that doesn’t require disruption of each company’s own benefit plan enables them to buy healthcare at scale.  The simplicity of the model and its ability to create a local market buying force is what has been lacking in healthcare to push back on one-sided markets. In addition to pre-neogiating hospital rates, Ranger Health has created a network of top physicians who are already participating providers within the major health plan networks. Ranger Health has vetted the select physicians in its network using sophisticated data analytics that Ranger Health developed to assess physician quality and clinical outcomes.  By identifying the highest performing physicians, Ranger Health has essentially identified the “Ryder Cup” team within a broader panel of providers. When members need a physician, Ranger Health offers options within its network and schedules appointments on their behalf, typically within 48 hours. “I’m proud to be one of Ranger Health’s select physicians,” said David Fox, MD, a San Antonio orthopedic surgeon. “The way in which Ranger Health is measuring physician outcomes is the way we should be evaluated. It is extremely difficult for consumers, and frankly, even physicians to know who is a good physician.” Through its proprietary data analytics, Ranger Health provides employers and their workforce access to something they’ve never had before — meaningful information about physician quality and how to select who can best meet their healthcare needs. “You can’t just google a doctor and find outcomes measures that tell you how good a doctor reall is in their particular specialty,” Zucker said.  “We are shifting the balance of information in favor of the employers and consumers who deserve better outcomes, better service and reasonable prices.” Ranger Health has recently expanded its services to give smaller, fully-insured employers access to some of the same features offered to larger, self-insured employers.  Having both types of companies on the Ranger Health platform creates greater scale, which benefits all clients. “We’ve been extremely pleased with the value that Ranger Health has afforded us,” said Mike Yantis, CEO of Yantis Construction.  “We’ve not been able to get a handle on constantly rising healthcare costs.  We like the business model because it does not change our existing benefit plan, and our employees appreciate Ranger Health identifying and providing easy access to great doctors that are already in our health plan.  The concierge level of service with Ranger Health is nothing like I’ve seen before in healthcare.” Prior to starting Ranger Health, Zucker served as Chief Strategy Officer of Tenet Healthcare’s South Texas region, where he led a successful national demonstration project with Medicare and Baptist Health System and developed the concept of “bundled payments” for cardiac and orthopedic services that resulted in $2 million in annual savings and significant quality improvements.  Those early efforts to bundle prices (package price physician and hospital fees) has transformed how certain healthcare services are reimbursed.  Today, CMMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) only reimburses for total joint replacement surgery on a bundled payment basis and is exploring implementing this across many more procedures, including cardiology and oncology. “That hugely successful bundled payment experience was what led me to think if we can do this with Medicare, then certainly there’s a way to do it in the private sector to help employers rein in their healthcare spending,” said Zucker.  “By embracing the power of consumers, technology, clinical data, aggregated purchasing power, and aligning the incentives of providers to employers, we have created a more efficient model.” Zucker’s vision is what led Cameron Powell, a San Antonio doctor and entrepreneur, to invest in the company and become an advisor to Ranger Health.  Powell, along with Trey Moore and Gene Powell, all advise Ranger Health and are co-founders of Air Strip Technologies — the global leader of one of the most innovative mobile platforms developed to allow clinicians access to patient information anytime and anywhere. “Ranger Health brings heavy-hitting expertise and innovative technology to bear on this problem of spiraling healthcare costs,” Powell said. “Healthcare is an unfair marketplace and the team at Ranger Health is passionate about changing the system to make it work for companies and consumers.  They understand healthcare dynamics are always local and have created the right model to catalyze local market forces.”  

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Health care inefficient because it can be

The Affordable Care Act has ushered in rapid change to our country’s health care system. Here are tangibles that come to mind: a plethora of new terminology (accountable care organizations, exchanges, population health, etc.), individuals dropped from their health plans, exchange plans that few providers accept, stratospheric premium increases, and insurance companies bailing from state exchanges, just to name a few.

Sadly, what is missing is the creation of real value or increase in the quality of health care.

This recent front-page story is yet another example or our irrational health care system. When is the price not the price? Only in health care. In what other segment of our economy do consumers not know the price of goods or services before they purchase? Imagine buying groceries without knowing their cost. I’m doubtful that it would work. Yet in health care, this is the everyday reality.

Read the full article here.

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