Providers and insurers ranging from primary care and specialty physicians to Medicare and leading insurance companies are increasingly advocating for a modern-day house call for seniors. For providers, it’s beneficial to partner with a company that delivers care to patients when acute needs arise after hours or during busy clinic days. For insurance companies, it’s beneficial to offer members a convenient way to access acute healthcare, avoid emergency room waiting time, and stay at home when they are ill or injured. Also on the stay-at-home bandwagon are senior communities, home care services, support organizations and emergency medical services (EMS). DispatchHealth house calls play a key role in providing advanced care for seniors, and the company is partnered with these key players to offer up this convenient and cost-effective healthcare alternative. Politico.com summarizes the appeal of in-home senior care: “But bit by bit, our healthcare system is getting smarter. Partly because of new payment incentives and partly because of a growing recognition of the challenges of caring for complex older patients—we’re learning that it’s better medicine, better economics and more humane to treat people at home rather than in institutions…” Medicare’s commitment to house calls is documented in a Verywellhealth.com article: “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set out to improve care while decreasing emergency room visits and hospital admissions. They are doing it with house calls.” The article continues, “For those who are frail or bed-bound, those who are likely to need medical care the most, it may be physically challenging to even leave their home…When patients cannot be seen, patients can find themselves in the emergency room trying to get urgent care, care that is much more expensive than what could be offered in the outpatient setting.”
Escalating costs of emergency and hospital care (a burden to patients and a strain on the healthcare delivery system).
A typical DispatchHealth house call costs one-tenth that of a trip to the ER. Average DispatchHealth out-of-pocket cost for seniors with Medicare or commercial insurance is $6-45. There is no seemingly endless stream of bills from different providers for different procedures. Everything, including on-site tests and treatment, is included on one straightforward, convenient bill.
Growing desire of seniors, their families, caregivers and senior communities to stay put.
A trip to the hospital or ER often triggers a series of complications, return visits and ultimately failing health. In turn, this leads to ever-more intensive (and expensive) intervention to care for the senior. Many wind up in nursing homes. It is well documented that seniors do much better when they can stay at home to get same-day care for non-life-threatening conditions.
Timeliness and thoroughness offered by such in-home care models as DispatchHealth.
Instead of spending precious time going somewhere, getting checked in and then waiting to get seen, a house call with DispatchHealth requires no travel time and a medical team is generally on-site within 90 minutes after requesting a visit. Once in the home, the team averages close to an hour with the patient—allowing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of everything from cuts, sprains and simple fractures to flu, urinary tract infections and migraines. In addition, DispatchHealth can call in prescriptions and always update a senior’s primary care physician and care team.
Portability of complex, advanced testing and treatment equipment.
An EKG that once was 300 pounds can now be easily transported, along with laceration/wound kits, IV supplies, blood, culture and urine testing supplies, medications, flu swabs, catheter equipment, and the like. Board-certified medical teams are equipped with all the tools necessary to treat common to complex injuries and illnesses.