House calls as cost-saver in health care reform?.

Victoria Advocate has an interesting article about a doctor in Richmond, Va who has returned to the practice of making house calls.

Dr. Peter Boling and his crew of three doctors, five nurses and a social worker care for about 275 patients in the Richmond, Virginia area.

Boling says that house calls help him see some of the oldest and sickest patients and give them the care they need that may help keep them out of the hospital emergency room.

Boling is trying to convince Congress to include a provision in the health-care reform bill that would test whether house calls could lower preventable hospitalizations and ER visits for the high-cost and chronically ill patients on Medicare.

I think this is a great idea and I hope it becomes as common as it was a hundred years ago. Hospitals are dangerous places in some ways, and many people are not able to get to the hospital when they need care. Often people wait until a catastrophic, and often preventable, event occurs before the get rushed to the ER.

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