HOUSE CALLS: CareMore Doctors Discover Efficacy of Time-Honored Practice
Physicians with the CareMore Medical Group are starting to make house calls to their frail, elderly patients, discovering that the practice is "cost-effective and medically useful." Dr. Donald Furman, the CareMore medical director who spearheaded the at-home visit program, said that for patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, it's "much more beneficial for us and our patients to see them in their daily living environment." The American News/Ventura County Star reports that preliminary data show that the house calls have reduced hospital readmission rates on the first day after discharge for CareMore's patients from 24% to zero. Furman explained, "We can see firsthand how patients function in their own homes. We can make sure they are taking appropriate medications, and we can make sure the home is safe from objects like throw rugs and misplaced electric cords, which could cause a patient to fall and break a hip." CareMore's 150 primary care doctors and 200 specialists provide care for approximately 10,000 seniors throughout the southeast Los Angeles and Orange County area. The home visits are "covered by the patient's managed care company and are conducted by medical school residents and home health nurses." Furman said patients "are often shocked when we say to them that we will see them in their home. They ask, 'This is managed care?'" (4/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.