Students can order pizza, clothes and textbooks to their front door. Now, they can add doctor visits to that list.
Remedy Urgent Care is an Austin-based startup founded on the idea of mobile doctor visits. If a new patient calls Remedy, doctors will bring medical care to the patient’s house within 90 minutes.
Remedy began its services last November and has grown over 60 percent each month since. The company responds to calls from Pflugerville to south Austin, and will soon open a new satellite office in Round Rock.
According to Dr. Jeremy Gabrysch, CEO of Remedy, UT students are a target demographic for Remedy. Busy and thrifty college students can benefit from a doctor visit that is both efficient and insured.
“We have seen several UT students as patients. One of the big factors for us is getting in-network with insurance companies, which we’re working on right now,” Dr. Gabrysch said. “I know a lot of students still use their parent’s insurance, so we want to help them out.”
UT nutrition senior Joy Mong, who works as a scribe and medical assistant at Remedy, said the doctors can respond to various medical conditions.
“We do stitches, and we do IV. We do casts if they broke their arm. We see minor colds, flu, illnesses to injuries, so we cover a wide range of things,” Mong said. “We also have all the equipment packaged up very nicely — everything fits in a little mini Cooper, which is our Remedy car.”
Other primary Remedy customers include single mothers, young business professionals and tourists who come to Austin for festivals, such as ACL and SXSW, according to Robin Hadden, physician’s assistant at Remedy.
Mong said that Remedy is often more cost-effective than the emergency room.
“I’ve had a lot of experience in urgent care, and I just realized how much waste there is. In the ER, the doctor covers all the bases,” Mong said. “The doctor may think the patient has strep, but the doctor will order a lot more tests for liability reasons, which ends up wasting the hospital’s resources and patients have to pay more in the end.”
Remedy also eases the process of medical payments by providing a transparent flat rate for patients, according to Hadden.
“For me, the amount of money we waste on health care is an atrocity, so being able to tell them what we can charge them upfront has been really pinnacle,” Hadden said. “In the long run, I really think we’re saving health care and patients and Texas a lot of money.”
Dr. Gabrysch said his experience in the ER has made him realize the many unnecessary complications within the current American healthcare system.
“There’s complexity in the referral system and health insurance. Most people don’t fully understand the difference between a co-pay and co-insurance, what is a deductible, etc.,” Dr. Gabrysch said. “There is so much terminology foreign to people, and Remedy is trying to bring a level of transparency to that.”
Remedy stemmed from Dr. Gabrysch’s experience in practicing medicine in an Ethiopian charity hospital.
“In Ethiopia, we didn’t have sufficient resources to take care of everything, so we had to be creative,” Dr. Gabrysch said. “I basically learned how to practice medicine better and more efficiently because I had to, and so when I came back here, I just saw the complexity of American medicine differently.”