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On the Revival of Individual House Call Doctors

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Re-Thinking a Popular Practice from the Past

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™ [Publisher-in-Chief]

By Professor Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™ [Managing Editor]

More personal than a corporate home care medical business model, most people view house calls as a popular practice from the past.

Although only slightly less than 5% of the nation’s doctors regularly make house calls today, the medical house call industry is swiftly picking up momentum once again. It is a move that is greatly benefiting physicians and patients alike.

Why House Calls?

It’s because we live in a society that has become technology focused. While this emergence has benefited many in terms of medical advancements, there are a growing number of patients who are uncomfortable with next-generation medical practices. These people, particularly the rapidly aging elders of the nation, want to be cared for in a friendly, nurturing, and convenient way. As people age and fall ill, it becomes increasingly difficult to leave the home for office visits. Not to mention, there are many handicapped patients as well who have to arrange for wheelchair vans or ambulances just to visit the doctor.

Link: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

Meeting a Niche Market Need

Thanks to the desire of physicians seeking to open their own medical house call practices, these patient needs are slowly being met. Many of these physicians are strictly open for house call visits only and have no physical office. They commonly take appointment requests via phone calls and emails with the overall goal to combine the service of an old-time, small town doctor with the latest technology designed to meet people’s emotional, and financial, needs. Patients are also able to save a considerable amount of time by not having to leave the house to go to the doctor’s office, and not having to fill prescriptions. After all, many medical house call physicians travel along with certain medications that can be dispensed on location. Narcotics, however, will likely need to be filled with a prescription. While highly convenient for patients who wish to receive medical house call services, the reviving industry is fitting for physicians. In recent years, Medicare has increased its level or reimbursements for physicians who travel to patients. Just in the past few years alone, Medicare has been billed approximately $1.5 million annually for house calls. 

Enter the DNPs and NPs

Even nurse practitioners [NPs] and Doctors of Nursing Practice [DNPs] who make a small number of house calls are typically unaware that they can maximize profit potential with medical house calls. Some NPs have even offset operating expenses by offering house calls to make their office based practice more appealing to their patients.

Link: Front Matter BoMP – 3

Technology Enabled

Also, significant advances in technology have enabled popular medical equipment to be smaller and portable. Physicians are able to perform standard procedures, such as skin biopsies and blood draws while outside the office. They are also able to easily access patient medical records through usage of a laptop, as well as resources such as the Physicians’ Desk Reference [PDS] through usage of a hand-held personal digital assistant.

Assessment

For example, one firm – HouseCall Doctors – established since 1998, educates and supports physicians who are ready to make a transition from office-based positions to medical house call practices. There are no royalty or membership fees, and this is not a franchise. HouseCall Doctors helps transition to a reportedly more pleasing, profitable way to practice medicine today.

Conclusion

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2 Responses

  1. Are House Calls Making a Comeback?

    http://www.whiteglove.com/

    Hope R. Hetico RN MHA
    [Managing Editor]

    Like

  2. Common doctor house call making a comeback?

    A new service offers patients a doctor at their doorstep within two hours of requesting one.

    http://news.msn.com/videos/?ap=True&videoid=6d368813-4a9a-ecd7-31cc-792bf991eda8&from=en-us_msnhp

    It’s a convenient, but expensive, type of health care and shows the changing nature of the physician house call.

    Vera

    Like

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