About this time last year, I laid my head on my Dad’s chest as he took his last breath. It was gutwrenching for me. This incredible man was gone…Now what?
Where did he go?
When will he be back?
Dad was a unique breed of Medical Doctor. (M.D.) He was a Board Certified Family Physician and Board Certified Emergency Physician. In fact, he was one of the first Certified Emergency Physicians in the country.
It seemed that Dad did it all. He delivered babies. He took out appendix. He saw and treated patients in the clinic and the hospital. Things seemed simple.
Back in the day, Dad used to charge $5 for an office visit. The visit included all of the labs and tests that may be needed.
I also remember being at his side for housecalls. Dad would carry his classic black medical bag. The bag housed all the equipment and medicine patients seemed to need. Occasionally he would smile and tell me , “all you really need is Duct Tape and Bag Balm.”
As arrangements were being made for his funeral, my mother presented the obituary that Dad had written for himself. Among the few lines is one I will never forget “I will do housecalls to the end.”
Where have the housecalls gone?
When will housecalls be back?
What once was so common in the 1950’s and 1960’s began to disappear in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The demands of insurance, time and compliance helped to stage a clinic based model.
However, over the last few years the increased demand for a solution to skyrocketing health care costs and availability has resurrected the old housecall model.
Housecalls have been resurrected. The revolution is on!
Patients seem to enjoy a newfound respect from providers. Many feel especially cared for when a provider comes to them or answers their phone calls personally. Costs have decreased dramatically with this service model.
Other states are seeing an increase of an Uber-type model to mobilize physicians and providers to patients’ homes.
There is still much to be discovered and understood from this resurrected model. Still, it seems to be a welcome breath of new life and viable option for many.
Perhaps housecalls can be made to the end!
Next month, look for clues for ‘Your Little Valley Challenge’ for chances to win!!! Susan Webb is our Alive & Well Wellness Coach who lives in your community and she has a challenge up her sleeve for you!