About Time: House Calls Making a Comeback
They save money, keep patients out of ERs: Ezekiel Emanuel
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2013 1:15 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – One modern health care trend has old-fashioned roots: "After a half-century, the house call is making a comeback," writes Ezekiel Emanuel in the New York Times. It's a welcome trend as far as he's concerned, because these kinds of calls can take care of low-level problems such as stomach pain, fever, or a cut that needs stitches—the types of problems that account for roughly 40% of the nation's ER visits. Keeping these patients out of hospitals can save big money.

Today's house calls can have a modern component. Emanuel writes of one contractor that uses software to help determine when doctors should go out or patients should come in. The same contractor also offers "virtual house calls" in which patients can get checked out via webcam. ObamaCare is helping the push by penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates, often caused by patients who fail to take their medicine. As a result, more and more hospitals are sending out nurses to homes. The examples abound, and they make sense in terms of costs and patient care. "House calls are a sign that we will all see our health care going back to the 'old days' when, like my father, the doctor came to our homes, giving us real personalized medicine—and saving money at the same time," writes Emanuel. Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
Econ_101
Sep 9, 2013 8:17 AM CDT
Another gov. program going to Hell in a hand basket !!
ppaca
Sep 9, 2013 7:36 AM CDT
Under 0bamaCare, the IRS can invade your home, search it and question you unmercilessly, all in the name of health care. These are called "house calls", too. You have no choice but to comply. They can act just like DFS coming to take your children from you when you ask a doctor for a second opinion as to proper health care. What is this world coming to?
OrneryPup
Sep 9, 2013 12:07 AM CDT
Ol' Doc used to always carry a bottle of laudanum in his black bag for house calls. I hope the new ones do too. A double dose of laudanum will fix ya right up.