I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
In the past, doctor house calls used to be the norm. However, these days only about 1 percent of doctor visits are house calls, compared to about 40 percent in the 1940s. New technology is changing things though, and some doctors are starting to make house calls again.
House Call Services
There are now some doctors who exclusively practice through house calls and others who dedicate at least some of their time to this service. People living in certain cities can take advantage of apps that schedule doctor house calls for relatively minor issues. Due to the limited amount of supplies and equipment a mobile doctor can bring with him, more major problems, including broken bones and health conditions requiring more than just blood tests or a physical examination, will still require a visit to an emergency room or doctor's office.
With doctor house calls, the patient doesn't have to leave the home and spend a lot of time traveling and waiting to see the doctor. They can be seen in the comfort of their own home and the doctor can see their living environment, which might help her to better diagnose and treat the patient. Elderly patients may actually need fewer hospitalizations and specialist visits if they get house calls from doctors, which can lead to a decrease in health care costs even if they have twice as many house calls as they would have had regular doctor appointments, according to one study.
The main drawbacks to increasing the amount of doctor house calls are the fact that it makes it so the doctor can see many fewer patients per day due to all the travel time between patients. A house call doctor might be able to squeeze in 10 patients per day, while a traditional doctor might see more than 30. This limits a doctor's income unless they charge high fees. Insurance typically only covers the cost of house calls if a patient can prove that they couldn't otherwise see a doctor in many cases. There's also the issue of the current primary care doctor shortage. One estimate is that by 2025 there will be 90,000 fewer doctors than needed by 2025. Some people argue that a doctor's time would be better spent seeing as many patients as possible than making house calls.
Another alternative that could help maximize both patients' and doctors' time is the advent of telemedicine, where some types of medical issues can be dealt with through video visits rather than office visits. These types of doctor appointments are restricted in certain states, but some insurance companies are starting to cover them at least in certain situations in other states.
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18 May 2017