PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doctors making house calls. It’s gaining in popularity. 3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the details.
Doctors predict that as the number of American 65 years of age and older doubles in the coming years, and as modern technology advances, medical care that’s now concentrated in hospitals will move into patients’ homes.
Dr. Andrew Lyons practice is no longer in an office. Ten years ago, he started visiting patients in their homes.
House calls are making a come back, and many of the tests are the same. But the classic black bag has been replaced with a laptop computer.
“There’s no substitute for the house call. You get a great insight into your patients, into their lives, how they live, where they keep their medications,” said Dr. Lyons.
96-year-old Amalia Morgens remembers house calls as a child. Now she needs to see the doctor once a month, and a visit is much more convenient.
“It’s a blessing,” said Amalia.
In the New England of Journal of Medicine, Dr. Steven Landers says the future of healthcare will be at home.
“By 2030, we’ll have more than 70 million folks over the age of 65,” said Dr. Landers.
Many seniors suffer from multiple conditions, and Dr. Landers says modern technology now allows doctors to take the hospital to the patient.
EKG’s, blood tests, even some x-rays can now be done in the home.
“They need that integrated medical care, and the home is a great place to get it,” said Dr. Landers.
Dr. Lyons says with no office overhead, house calls brings down health care costs, and allow him to spend more time with each patient.
“Some of them consider me part of their family. It’s a very rewarding experience in that respect,” said Dr. Lyons.
In many cases, house calls are covered by Medicare.
Reported By: Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3