House call doctor visits benefit older adults and caregivers
Getting your older adult to the doctor’s office for an appointment can be difficult or sometimes impossible.
Whether they’re frail, can’t walk on their own, or have Alzheimer’s or dementia, getting out of the house is hard on both of you. Going to a doctor’s office can also expose seniors to germs or harsh weather.
We explain what a house call doctor is, what type of insurance they accept, how to find one, and what to look for in terms of services.
What is a house call doctor?
Today, many doctors are bringing back the old practice of visiting patients in their homes. With house calls, older adults don’t have to go through the stress and difficulty of getting to the doctor’s office. And neither do you.
Another bonus is that these doctors usually spend more time with patients. You won’t have to fit all your questions into a 15 minute visit.
Just remember that house calls aren’t for emergency situations (call 911 instead). They’re basically like a regular office visit.
Do they accept Medicare?
But every house call doctor is different, so make sure you understand their fees and accepted insurance plans before making an appointment.
How to find a house call doctor
Some large health care systems like Kaiser Permanente or the VA have programs that include home visits by doctors and nurses. For example, Kaiser’s home-based palliative care program includes house calls.
Even your older adult isn’t part of a large health network, it’s worthwhile to ask the doctor if they have home doctor visit programs.
If their health care system doesn’t offer home-based programs, there may be private practices in the area. Use Google to search for “house call doctor” + your city or county or “home doctor visit” + your city or county (don’t include the quotation marks).
What to look for in a house call doctor
Before booking an appointment, make sure you understand the doctor’s services, fees, and billing.
Questions to ask:
- Do you specialize in treating seniors, people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or those with multiple chronic conditions?
- Do you accept Medicare, Medicaid, or my older adult’s private insurance plan?
- If we want, can we also keep my older adult’s primary care doctor?
- Will you communicate with my older adult’s existing doctors and specialists so their care is coordinated?
Examples of house call doctor private practices
We want to be clear that we’re not recommending any specific home doctor services or companies and aren’t affiliated with any of these businesses. These are examples to give you an idea of what a house call doctor looks like and the type of services that are typically offered.
Examples of what a house call doctor looks like:
Recommended for you:
- 4 Expert Tips for Managing Multiple Chronic Health Conditions in Seniors
- 7 Tips for Helping Seniors at the Doctor: Being a Health Advocate
- Should Seniors See a Geriatrician?
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Now It Counts
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