Twenty-five years ago, Internal Medicine Professor Peter Boling, M.D., started his house calls program for elderly patients who had difficulty getting to their appointments at the medical center. Some saw it as a throw-back to the days when physicians drove a horse and buggy to visit their patients instead of the other way around.
In today’s ongoing health care reform debates, house calls are being discussed as an option that has the potential to save costs as well as improve care. In fact, Boling helped craft language for the Independence at Home Act (S. 1131/HR.2560) that advocates home-delivered care for individuals with functional impairment, high costs and multiple illnesses.
The August 25, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Times details Boling’s house calls program and includes data from a study by the medical center that looks at recently discharged patients who are seen in the program. The news article reports… “the house call program helped cut in half the number of days these patients spent in the hospital, saving the medical center as much as $2 million.”
Read about the work of Boling’s team in “Getting cheaper, better healthcare at home?”
The Los Angeles Times’ story has been picked up by the Chicago Tribune and was the top story in their Tuesday, August 25 e-mail blast from America’s Health Insurance Plans to health plan executives.