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The Doctor Is Out: House Calls

     Do you ever wish you could go back in time to the days where the milk man delivered to your door, when grocery stores used the web to allow you to buy and have groceries delivered, or back when doctors actually made house calls? While I'm sure that there might be some instances across the country where you can still get milk and groceries delivered to your house, it certainly isn't very prevalent. House calls by doctors and physician's assistants, on the other hand, are making a strong comeback.

People are busier than ever so there is an ever growing need for convenience. Primary and urgent health clinics across the country are filling this demand. Many provide a myriad of services during their on-site concierge services and house calls, including:

* Routine Physicals * Primary Care Physicals (site visits can be arranged) * Acute / Chronic Illnesses * Urgent Care / Injuries * Laboratory Services * Disease Management * Preventative Care * Wellness * Gynecological Exams * Pap Smears * Weight Management * Vaccinations / Immunizations * And much more

House calls to a patient's home can be traced back to the early 1700s. Doctors back then, would spend the majority of their time on the road, but the dedication to the family was unsurpassed. Doctors would see the patients various times during the course of a simple cold, average illness, nervous disease or other communicable diseases. It was a time where the doctor-patient dynamic was very intimate. Both parties really knew everything about the other because of the time spent in the home. House calls began to decline in the 1930s, when the percentage of doctors that were described as general practitioners fell drastically. Specializations became the norm and access to hospitals and medical tools were now necessary. Later in the century, an increase in biomedical knowledge and technology, the growth of third-party payers and heightened liability concerns further damaged the house call profession. Today, however, a desire to decrease overhead expense, having access to technologies such as iPads and mobile X-ray machines, the push for reducing the strain on emergency rooms across the country, and people's need for general convenience are all reasons for the resurgence.

Certainly, doctors and physician's assistants are always looking to reduce the expense of their practices and increase/diversify their revenues. One can argue that the only physician's true expense when making a house call is the gasoline needed to get there, and with Medicare's continued increase in reimbursements for the home-bound are reasons why more and more doctors across the country are now performing on-site concierge services and house calls.

Technologies have also made life for the traveling physician a lot easier. Doctors still carry their little black bags, but they now contain pulse oximeters, portable ECGs, glucometers and digital thermometers. Some doctors will even show up with portable X-ray machines! Couple all of this with iPads, Wi-Fi's and laptops and a doctor has everything he needs. A growing problem across America that must be mentioned is the strain on Emergency Rooms. ER waiting room times are absurd in many hospitals because they are constantly filled with (uninsured) patients who don't really have an 'emergency', causing a terrible disconnect with many doctors and patients. In order to mitigate this tension, many hospitals have begun to open smaller, satellite Emergency Rooms that can provide Urgent and Primary care. While they still don't provide any concierge services, they really enjoy the lessened strain and freedom that these clinics are providing for the main hospital.

The opportunity for the (self-) practicing physician to be with the patient in their most vulnerable state while at their home is becoming a fortunate experience for both doctors and patients once again. In many instances, it is also becoming a profitable one for physicians. Whether the patient is home-bound because of the illness or injury or because they prefer the convenience of having the doctor come to them is irrelevant. Rediscovering an art of medicine that was once lost is a beautiful thing that is also now beginning to be embraced by everyone involved.

Copyright (c) 2013 Eli Gali

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Enter your Plain Text Resource BoxPC Family Medicine is a family friendly clinic in San Antonio walk in clinic, San antonio Weightloss, ranging from wellness check-ups to vaccinations to weightloss solutions. TPC works with all major insurance companies for billing approval, San Antonio Texas

Posted on 2013-05-16, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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