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Old 02-18-2010, 02:14 AM
 
123 posts, read 135,062 times
Reputation: 85

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House call medicine is making a comeback as more patients and physicians become frustrated with the waiting and red-tape of the present state of medical practice.

As a physician ( native Alabamian ) interested in becoming a house call physician in North Alabama, I am wondering in you would or if you think others in the area would support a house call physician. Most house call physicians act somewhat as a general practitioner, treating medically stable adult patients, minor childhood illnesses, and minor injuries.

North Alabama is a prime location for house call physicians because both the NE and NW portions have the highest percentage of agricultural workers and also the highest percentage of uninsured people in the state. The high growth rate of the area is a compelling also.

Excuse the long introduction, but what do you guys think about supporting a house call physician ? Thanks.

Carpe
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 55,166,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpe777 View Post
House call medicine is making a comeback as more patients and physicians become frustrated with the waiting and red-tape of the present state of medical practice.
Why would there be any less red tape? Presumably this is concerning insurance and malpractice issues. Seems like house calls wouldn't make a difference.

Also, if physician businesses are struggling now using offices that cram ten patients into a one hour slot and double schedule patients to the same time slot, how is a doctor going to make money if he'll spend half his time driving from house to house? I suppose there's less overhead (lease, furniture, etc), but what about all the duties the office staff currently performs? Is he going to outsource that or do those duties himself?

Finally, what about all the equipment most doctor's offices have at their immediate displosal for running on the spot tests? Is our 21st century house call doctor going to drive up in a some sort of truck with all that equipment in it?

There are probably very good economic reasons why doctors don't make house calls any more. All it is really doing is saving the customer (doctors call them patients but we think of ourselves as customers for whom doctors should ideally compete for our business) the hassle of driving to the doctor's office.

Last edited by Charles; 02-18-2010 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:51 AM
 
8,535 posts, read 9,836,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpe777 View Post
House call medicine is making a comeback as more patients and physicians become frustrated with the waiting and red-tape of the present state of medical practice.

As a physician ( native Alabamian ) interested in becoming a house call physician in North Alabama, I am wondering in you would or if you think others in the area would support a house call physician. Most house call physicians act somewhat as a general practitioner, treating medically stable adult patients, minor childhood illnesses, and minor injuries.

North Alabama is a prime location for house call physicians because both the NE and NW portions have the highest percentage of agricultural workers and also the highest percentage of uninsured people in the state. The high growth rate of the area is a compelling also.

Excuse the long introduction, but what do you guys think about supporting a house call physician ? Thanks.

Carpe
Yes I would, I'm so old I can remember when they made house calls...LOL...

I also remember when a lot of Doctors had their offices in their homes...
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Yes
2,663 posts, read 4,167,423 times
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I would support that service in a heartbeat. I hate having 15 minutes scheduled with a doctor, only to feel like I am being rushed out after 2-3 minutes and not having my questions fully answered.

However, as the above poster mentioned, how does a doctor go about making it an economically feasable option?
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:19 AM
 
262 posts, read 529,325 times
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Yes. I hate dragging both kids to the Dr. and exposing them to the others in the waiting room.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:42 AM
 
1,126 posts, read 1,541,184 times
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I think Charles makes some really good points. I would support such a doctor but could he have me take an xray immediately if needed? Would I still have to get in the car and go elsewhere for such, for example? Or blood work? Will insurance cover it?
Doctors do overschedule but I guess I don't mind waiting too long at ours because I know when I see her, she doesn't rush me. I guess that is unusual. I go in with a list of questions and she always takes the time.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:59 AM
 
422 posts, read 582,106 times
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I think in order to make the house call doctor service more valuable, the patient has to be able to figure out whether what they have might need some bigger test or if its something simple like a cold. I mean if I feel like I have strep throat, then I will need the option of a strep test and go to a doctor's office that can do that test. But if I just feel worn down and coughing and want some kind of strong cough medicine or antibiotic, then a house call would work.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
12 posts, read 19,412 times
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I would. One of my biggest complaints is that with only 5 minutes with my doctor, I can never go over ongoing symptoms, just the most annoying complaint. How can a doctor fully diagnose or treat or help me when they never have time to listen to what is going on with me?

We would support it! More so because of the time and quality of time spent on house calls, though that could still be done in office. Here's something working on opening up over here and it kinda goes over how they are avoiding the red tape and charging, etc. A concierge type service for health care. Course it opens up right when we're planning on leaving!Members-only medicine | Health Care | Wichita Eagle
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,659 posts, read 26,758,670 times
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Our nurse practitioner was not allowed to write prescriptions in the period of time between when the old clinic closed and he and the supporting doctor established the new one. There may be some regulatory roadblock there.

Frankly, the concept of a house call doctor is a lousy one. Agricultural workers are low paid - would such a doctor take chickens or a side of beef in return for service? Rural areas means LOTS of time driving from place to place. It might work for large animal vets, but it still means long days and a waste of time and energy.

Any doctor worth his salt has hospital privileges at one or more hospitals. Driving around in the country is incompatible with that. Old time doctors went to homes in part because many of the diseases back then could start an epidemic, people were extremely repressed about disclosing any medical issues or even removing clothing, and the community had to depend on such doctors because of bad roads and less than great transportation for the sick or injured.
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:47 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 6,263,456 times
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KSTP TV ( Minneapolis) just did a feature on a doctor in Minneapolis who makes house calls.

He got fed up with how much of his ( and his staff's) time was being taken up by processing insurance forms.

His house call visits are cash only. He accepts no insurance.

His rates were reasonable ( $35 per house call), but I can't see how it would be ptofitable if it wasn't a sideline for a semi-retired doctor who is doing it mainly for enjoyment.
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