Before 1950,nearly half of all doctors’ visits in America were house calls. But in the second half of the twentieth century, this care delivery model declined due to a rise in big hospitals and sophisticated medical devices that couldn’t fit into a doctor’s bag. But today, most of that equipment is mobile, which is just one factor contributing to a recent resurgence of home-based healthcare. According to the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, 11,400 primary care providers — including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — made 4.9 million house calls in 2014. And it’s likely those numbers will continue to increase considerably as the U.S. population ages. Research from the American Academy of Family Physicians found that the existing long-term care and assisted living infrastructure is not sufficient to address the needs of the growing elderly population, many of whom are homebound due to disability or chronic illness.
“For many health plan members, particularly the elderly, frail and those not engaged in the healthcare system, the place where they feel the most comfortable receiving care is in their own home,” said Thayer Montague, vice president of Business Development for Advance Health, which provides member engagement services through in-home and facility-based health risk assessments and care management programs. “We’ve developed services that proactively target this growing contingent of the population. Our proprietary mobile workflow technology and team of dedicated nurse practitioners improve outcomes for our clients and their health plan members,” he said.
In a new Industry Insights Q&A, Montague shares why at-home visits are on the rise, as well as details on Advance Health’s programs, which have substantially improved management of some of the costliest burdens on the U.S. health system and are generating promising results amongst one of the highest risk, least adherent populations.