House Call Medicine is Making a Comeback
Gone are the days when a doctor would arrive at your door with only a medical bag in tow. Today, house call physicians, such as those with Visiting Physicians Association® (VPA®), come equipped with the latest mobile medical technology, enabling the homebound, chronically ill and elderly to receive the medical care they need in the comfort of their own homes.
The premise of house call medicine is to provide more routine and preventative care to patients who have a difficult time getting to their physician’s office. VPA physicians are able to spend more invaluable, one-on-one time with their patients. Most visits last 45 minutes to an hour, which provides physicians the opportunity to examine living conditions and provide other clues into external factors that may be affecting the health of the patient.
VPA physicians travel with a medical assistant or nurse and can do everything that can be done in a primary-care office. Advancements in medical technology provide them the ability to do laboratory tests, digital x-rays, echocardiograms, vascular studies and ultrasounds all in the comfort of the patient’s home.
Several studies nationwide have shown that providing primary health care in the home can cut costs largely by reducing the need for hospital stays and emergency room visits. Most VPA physicians visit their patients on a monthly basis to check on their status, ensure that their medications are working and make changes to their health care as needed to prevent an emergency room visit.
In most cases, private insurance and Medicare cover house call visits for patients who have health problems or disabilities that make it difficult for them to leave their home.