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On-call health services on the rise in San Antonio

A few local companies are bringing personalized medical care right to your doorstep.

A few local companies are bringing personalized medical care right to your doorstep.

Ranger Health On Call is one company doing just that for San Antonio. It launched in September and currently, there are four physician assistants available. People can go on the Ranger Health mobile app, call, or go online to request appointments. The PA's will be available anytime from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

"We've seen our business continue to double month over month, and I think that really speaks to the latent need out there for more convenient health care," said Michael Zucker, the CEO of Ranger Health. "We really don't see end in sight because consumers want health care much in the same way that they're having a ride scheduled to take them to the airport, having their grocery's delivered, and all these things that most everyone can access through their smartphone now."

KENS 5 followed Ranger Health On Call's physician asisstant Barbara Quillin to a home on Tuesday. She was checking up on a 2-year-old boy who was having allergy issues. Quillian said that she carries a variety of medical tools in her car and can treat most health issues. She relies on technology to do her job, like her iPhone, to relay information back to Ranger Health, and her iPad to order up medication.

"We're able to see that the pharmacy has received it. We can pick up the phone and call the prescriptions in but there's no need to. We can automatically avoid the long wait time," Quillin said.

KENS 5 talked to the patient's mother, who said that Ranger Health is more convenient for her.

"I'm a full-time mom and full-time employee. They can come to your house so when your kid's sick, they're in their own environment. So, it makes the care a little bit easier on the kid," Emily Keith said.

Ranger Health charges $95 per visit and it's an additional $35 for additional procedures like stitches for a cut. It does not accept insurance but patients can use a flexible spending or health savings accounts.

"This is perfect for people with a high-deductible health plan," Zucker said. "At Ranger Health, we changed the model. By using technology, direct to consumer approach, we've been able to lower the cost of care and increase efficiency."

Another medical provider offering similar services is Dr. Brian MacGillivray. He has a clinic called My Dr. Mac that's located on Stone Oak Parkway. He's a primary care provider but has specialized services related to aesthetics and weight loss. MacGillivry is available 24/7 for patients and also makes house calls. He can perform procedures at patients' home as well.

"The patients get to see me. They get to see me for, really, as long as they need to. Prevention goes on. They can walk into my office now, for instance, and I don't have to pull up a chart. Where, when I had 6,000 patients, I'd be like: So, how's the real estate business? And trying to put memory chips in there so I could remember the patients," Dr. MacGillivray said.

Dr. MacGillivray requires $180 dollars a month for limitless visits. Patients can use their insurance or pay cash for services.

"And the cash price, what actually comes through our office, our discount if you will, is 20 percent of what it would be billed to the insurance," Dr. MacGillivray noted.

A third medical provider offering home-based visits is Doctor at Your Service. Dr. Antonio Cavazos Jr. has been practicing medicine for 43 years in Bexar County. He has been providing on-call services since 2010 and charges $150 per visit. His office accepts insurance for services.

"I've found the gratitude of people who see us coming to their place or residence to see them," Dr. Cavazos said. "Some of them can't believe a doctor would come to their home or apartment, assisted living, wherever they live. I find it very gratifying to see the gratitude in these patients."

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