Over the past several decades, medical treatment in the United States has become increasingly institutionalized. As medical technology has become more sophisticated patient treatment has moved from homes to hospitals and clinics. In the 1930s, house calls accounted for 40 percent of a physician’s interaction with patients; by the 1980s, however, house calls had decreased to one percent of interactions (Emanuel, 2013). For the frail and seriously ill, arranging transportation to medical appointments can be a serious trial. When people suffer from chronic diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes, dementia and other such illnesses, inadequate medical attention often results in unnecessary emergency room visits. Providing home-based primary care and other forms of home visits for these patients would lessen the burden on caregivers and help patients receive regular health screenings. In managing the health of chronically and seriously ill patients, frequent health screenings are critical in preventing hospitalization by providing early detection of a worsening condition. Not only does home-based primary care improve the quality of care for patients, but a resurgence of the practice also has potential cost saving benefits. As our population ages, our health care system must adjust to meet the needs of this population. Home visits could be a viable way to achieve this goal.
"House Calls: Reviving a Lost Practice,"
Occam's Razor: Vol. 4
, Article 8.
Available at: http://cedar.wwu.edu/orwwu/vol4/iss1/8