Mathew Trowbridge discusses Range Urgent Care’s unique business model

December 18, 2018

Founders of Range Urgent Care, Mathew and Stephanie Trowbridge, opened their practice last November with the goal of making urgent care simpler, friendlier, and more transparent. In our Q+A, Mathew breaks down Range’s unique model for healthcare, why it works, and tells us about innovative services like hydration therapy.

Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.

My wife Stephanie and I opened Range Urgent Care in November of 2017. Stephanie is an Emergency Room physician who is double board certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS. I am a civil engineer with a background in business, construction and healthcare. When we moved to Asheville in 2015, we decided to put our brains together to provide Asheville with a new and improved urgent care experience. It’s been clear for some time now that the healthcare system is broken and when systems are broken, the call to provide solutions as both an engineer and entrepreneur is irresistible. When we opened Range, we set out to reimagine the entire process and experience of receiving healthcare services. The result is an efficient and streamlined operation providing higher quality care at lower costs and optimal convenience in an environment that people actually enjoy coming to.

Since opening, we have also added hydration therapy, which people have really enjoyed. It is amazing how much better your body feels when it is fully hydrated and as a place of health and wellness, this was a logical addition for us. We can add various supplements to the therapy such as Vitamin C, B12, amino acids, anti-nausea meds, etc depending on the patient’s needs. This is a great option for recovering from a marathon, one too many IPAs, or as a lasting energy boost if you’re feeling a little under the weather. We’ve also added a membership program, which is a really great deal, especially for those with high deductible plans or no insurance.

What does “hospitality” mean to you?

Hospitality lives at the core of our vision for Range and something we feel sets us apart from other urgent cares and healthcare facilities in general. Everything we do at Range revolves around creating a one of a kind experience for patients. From the care we provide to the environment we provide that care in, to the extra little details that make a patient feel special, we work tirelessly on every detail of the patient experience and are always striving to find new ways to take that experience to another level.

What experience do you strive to create for your customers?

We strive to provide an experience that feels more like a trip to the spa or coffee shop than a doctor’s office. People often avoid the doctor because they expect it to be a stressful experience and in many cases, you feel worse the moment you arrive sitting in plastic chairs with your sickest neighbors for 2 hours while you wait to be seen. At Range, we’ve all but eliminated the wait. Patients can schedule appointments in real time right from our homepage and are seen at or before their appointment times in almost all cases. Most appointments can be scheduled 30min or less in advance, so you can make an appointment for just about anything. If you suffer an injury requiring immediate attention, just hop on your phone and reserve your spot and we’ll be waiting for you. If you have a lingering cough that you want to get some help with and tomorrow at your lunch break is the most convenient time, schedule an appointment and we’ll get you in and out and back to work in no time.

When patients arrive at our clinic, the next phase of the experience begins. They’re greeted by a friendly face and offered a selection of refreshments that we have available including our most recent addition, Jun, which is a fermented tea and honey beverage from Shanti Elixers. They’ll notice our simplified and transparent pricing model displayed on a chalk-board in the front. Price transparency is a cornerstone of our business. There are no surprise bills 30 days after your visit with us. Visits start at $99 and top out at $149 for our advanced visit, which includes just about everything we do in-house including x-rays, procedures, meds, labs and even our in-house pharmacy. If you have an insurance policy that covers out-of-network urgent care visits, you’ll get a check in the mail for the amount covered by your policy.

Finally, patients will experience one of a kind care and service from a staff that is truly passionate about caring for people. Being appointment based, we have plenty of time with each patient built into our system, which means staff do not feel pressured to rush through and clear a waiting room. Furthermore, being free from insurance companies restores the relationship between provider and patient and aligns our goals to providing the best possible treatment without fears of a growing bill or arbitrary decisions from insurance companies about what is best for the patient. It’s medicine back to the way it should be. A provider working hand in hand with the patient to achieve the best possible outcome for their health and overall well-being. The patient then leaves often times with a prescription in hand saving an extra trip to the pharmacy.

What’s been your company’s most innovative idea?

At Range, we have a culture of innovation and spend significant time coming up with solutions to all kinds of problems, both big and small. I’d say the award for most innovative idea goes to our Architect though, MPS, who was able to convert an existing bank vault to an x-ray room. This almost entirely eliminated our lead shielding requirements for the room and saved us from needing to demolish a 9” thick concrete box full of steel. It also adds some cool character to the clinic after we dressed it up a bit with some murals!