Modern-day house calls could change future of medical care

Chicago — For millions of Americans, the luxury of being at home during a pandemic meant safety and security. Relaxed restrictions on telemedicine have made it easier to get medical advice. And now, home medical care is increasing.

In the 1930s, doctor visits were common and accounted for 40% of the interactions between doctors and their patients.

But by 1980, it had dropped to just 1% and was replaced by hospitals, offices, and emergency medical systems.

Dr. Mita Shah, an emergency physician at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said:

Part of improving that care seems to be manifesting itself in the form of home care that has been revived in recent years.

“It’s a way patients feel really safe and they can heal in their own environment. They can heal in their own bed,” said Deputy Clinical Practicer, Home Care Provider Dispatch Health. President Jaclyn Henkhouse said.

This time, no doctor knocks on the door with a black medical case. Instead, the bag was replaced by a high-tech mobile care unit. These SUVs are equipped with a number of medical kits.

“One of our cases is a stethoscope, an ophthalmoscope syringe,” said Patrick Huynh, a dispatched nurse practitioner.

Hyun will be dispatched with a medical technician. Together, they were able to treat complex injuries and even illnesses in the home.

“We don’t deal with life-threatening emergencies. They definitely need to go to the emergency department. But as you know, we treat everywhere from ear infections to coughs and swelling. “Hyun said.

Many healthcare systems utilize home care models that help reduce costs and keep non-life-threatening emergencies away from the emergency department.

“Some people don’t know the other options because the ED (Emergency Department) is the closest to their home, so they need to do it when they get sick,” says Shah.

Based in Colorado Dispatch healthIs ready to become the world’s largest home care system, with mobile medical units currently in operation in 40 markets in 18 states, and announced plans to expand to 100 markets earlier this year.

“We also have the ability to provide Point of Care Lab Tests,” said Hyun, who currently operates through a partnership between Dispatch Health and Rush in Chicago.

As more people were forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, the use of telemedicine surged, and Medicare exemptions allowed dozens of states to provide acute care to the elderly at home.

“We did a lot of that during COVID with telemedicine,” Shah said. “We have virtually come to your home, and now this is a kind of extension beyond that,” Now we are actually in your home with our team and our technology. You can enter. “

This can reduce hospitalizations and is a more affordable alternative to long-term care facilities, according to experts.

“They call and claim your insurance the first time you call and we do it through our system. Also, let us know in advance if insurance does not apply. We offer out-of-pocket options, “says Genkhaus.

The cost of a dispatch health visit is about the same as a walk-in emergency care visit. It averages between $ 5 and $ 50, depending on your insurance coverage. Without insurance, they charge a flat rate of $ 275. This includes the full cost of treatment, medication, procedures, and laboratory tests.

According to the company, it has already seen 100-200% year-on-year growth.

The estimated $ 460 million house call market is expected to grow over the next decade and return to older models with a modern twist.

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