Once upon a time doctors were noted for making house calls. As cities grew and transportation options expanded, they became more rooted in their clinic facilities and hospitals. During the latter part of the 20th century, most people, if they wished to be seen by their doctor or another physician, they had to go to those offices or a hospital. That made it difficult for some seniors and disabled adults to seek adequate medical care.
Today, though, a growing number of doctors have begun turning back the clock, in a manner of speaking. They are beginning to make more house calls and visits to their patients directly. Even for those doctors who may not offer home visits, they can certainly monitor those patients remotely via technology, visiting nurses, and home health care providers.
One doctor in Charlotte, North Carolina now offers house calls to a number of her patients. While many of those men and women who rely on Dr. Ball at home are suffering from opioid addictions, it’s of growing importance of home care services.
As noted in the Spectrum News Charlotte blog, Doctor Brings Medical Care [t]o Patients, written by Reuben Jones:
“Dr. Tracei Ball created “OnCall Mobile Medical and Wellness” in 2012.
She and two other doctors focus on pediatrics, adult primary care, and addiction.
Many of her patients are being treated for opioid addiction.
Ball spent years as a traditional doctor but got frustrated with the number of patients, and the lack of time to meet with them.
She says going directly to patients has given them the comfort of home.
“It helps reduce some of the anxiety, some of the apprehension,” said Dr. Ball. “Some people have white coat syndrome.”
Dr. Ball says many of her patients receive some sort of reimbursement from insurance.”
There could be any number of reasons why a disabled or aging senior is unable to get to his or her doctor and if they are incapable, lack mobility, or are unaware of the value these follow-up appointments and visits offer, their health may suffer as a result.
As Dr. Ball and a growing number of physicians across the country acknowledge, offering these medical services to clients either remotely or in their home not only provides an increase in comfort, it also helps to reduce costs for those men and women, hospitals, and a number of other service providers.
Home care continues to expand and as doctors recognize the value of caring for patients at home, it can have a lasting impact on potentially millions of lives into the future.