Frequently Asked Questions

Patients

What services does Physician Housecalls offer?

Physician Housecalls (PHC) delivers the same medical services you expect from a traditional, office-based medical clinic. We provide:

  • Comprehensive physical examinations
  • Annual wellness visits
  • Comprehensive geriatric assessments
  • Medication prescription and management
  • Basic diagnostic testing (such as X-rays, home sleep studies and ultrasounds)
  • Blood work and lab testing
  • Chronic disease evaluation and management
  • Immunizations
  • Diabetic screening
  • Wound care

The PHC team also provides complete care coordination, working in concert with facility staff, patients, families and insurance companies to manage specialists, home care services, off-site testing, and medical device and equipment delivery.

PHC does NOT provide emergency services. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

What types of insurance does Physician Housecalls accept?

  • Medicare (including most Medicare Advantage plans)
  • Medicaid
  • Secondary link (Medigap type) insurance

PHC will bill and file all of the patient’s insurance claims, including all secondary insurance for any charges not covered by a patient’s primary insurance.

What happens if there is an emergency?

Physician Housecalls in not an emergency service. If you ever experience a life-threatening emergency, you should call 911 immediately. If you go to the hospital please let us know so we can send appropriate records to assist in your care. For urgent medical problems, we will see you as soon as possible, always within five business days and our goal is within 1-2 days. The doctor may also start some treatment over the phone or have a home health nurse go out prior to seeing you.

Can I choose which doctor or nurse practitioner I want to see?

Due to the nature of our practice and to ensure efficiency and cost-effective care, our physicians and nurse practitioner are assigned specific geographic territories where they provide care. Patients are assigned to our providers based on where they live. However, if you have a preference, every effort will be made to honor that request if at all feasible.

Do patients always get the same doctor?

Yes. We schedule the same clinicians for each visit unless the clinician is out of town or the patient needs to be seen immediately. In an urgent case, we will arrange a visit from another of our outstanding providers, who will have the benefit of the patient’s complete medical record at their fingertips.

How often are visits?

At each visit the provider will give you a time frame for the next follow-up visit, based on what is medically needed. You will be notified of the follow-up visit date 3-4 days in advance and then called 1-2 days before the visit with a specific time. If you develop a problem and need to be seen sooner, please contact our office and an earlier appointment will be scheduled. Physician Housecalls does not make visits in the evenings or on weekends.

What does a typical visit look like?

A physician house call is just like a regular doctor visit only it occurs in the convenience of your home. One advantage of a house call is the doctor can see how the patient is functioning in their own environment and can also better review the patient’s diet, medication and look for any safety concerns.

Do I need a doctor's order to receive a home visit?

No. Any patient, family member or health care personnel can make a referral for a house call. The only requirement is the patient must be “homebound” which means it is difficult for him/her to leave the home and he/she leaves the home infrequently. You do not need to be completely homebound. Medicare even allows patients who attend adult day care to be considered “homebound” for home health and physician house call visits.

The visit is for my parent who lives with a caregiver. Should I be present for the visit?

It is greatly appreciated when family members are present at the first visit. The more accurate information we receive on patients, the better we can care for them. If family is not able to be present, we try to get any needed information over the phone prior to the visit. It is not as important for family members to attend follow up visits. We ask that they call our office with any concerns prior to the visit if they will not be able to be present.

What hours is my doctor or nurse practitioner in?

The providers are generally making house calls between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The office nurse can reach them at any time for emergencies throughout the day. Non-emergency patient callbacks are generally done at the end of the day between 4 – 6 p.m.

How long will it be until the doctor returns my call?

Calls are returned at the end of the day the call came in. For non-emergencies, the call may be returned the next day. The doctor will either return the call or instruct the nurse what should be done. If you do not hear back within 24 hours please call back.

Do you see patients in Nursing Homes or Assisted Living Centers?

We are currently taking new patients at Assisted Living Centers in our area. We do not serve nursing home patients at this time.

Will you visit me if I am in the hospital?

It is our mission to see patients who otherwise would not be able to see a doctor.  Should you need to be hospitalized, arrangements are made with your previous primary care physician or a hospitalist. With your consent, we will provide recent health care information to the physician treating you.

Do you prescribe opioids?

Yes, our physicians prescribe opioids for patients with acute or chronic pain due to conditions like kidney stones or broken bones. Opioids can be the right choice for treating severe pain. However, these medications are very powerful and must be used as directed. Click here to learn more about opioids. We also recommend reading this brochure to learn how to avoid accidental overdose.

Assisted Living Centers

How does partnering with Physician Housecalls benefit residents?

Residents and their families are attracted to exceptional medical care that is easy to access. By offering PHC clinical services onsite, residents and their caregivers can be assured they will receive the care they need when and where they need it.

Onsite medical care:

  • Is proactive and fully focused on keeping patients healthy and at home
  • Reduces risks that come with transportation to and from appointments
  • Eliminates exposure to other sick patients in conventional waiting rooms
  • Strengthens the connection patients and families are able to make with their physician; we do not have appointment time limits, and we see patients often and in great detail on each visit
  • Allows caregivers and families to spend more quality time with their loved ones by eliminating issues of coordination, travel and stress

 

How does partnering with Physician Housecalls benefit my organization?

Our innovative health care delivery system was designed to help underserved populations get access to the care they need where they need it. We give geriatric patients greater opportunities to live healthier lives, and help our assisted living center, independent living facility and continuum of care retirement community partners thrive. Partnering with PHC drives better outcomes for residents of senior living communities, improving resident health and increasing resident satisfaction.

Onsite medical care:

  • Attracts residents and caregivers by providing the ultimate benefit of comprehensive, coordinated, geriatric medical care on site
  • Reduces attrition by reducing or eliminating the revolving door of hospitalizations and readmissions
  • Decreases the health risks, liability and costs which come with transportation of residents to and from appointments
  • Gives your facility staff access to clinicians who are easy to reach and have firsthand knowledge and experience with your residents and your facility
  • Utilizes an innovative electronic medical record system, allowing clinicians the ability to fax new orders and visit notes as soon as they are completed, often at the completion of the visit

Do all residents have to sign up for Physician Housecalls to partner with you?

No. We see as many or as few of the residents in a facility that choose our services. Our delivery of care works best when our clinician can visit on regularly scheduled days, seeing multiple patients in one site visit. PHC will work with the resident population and staff to determine the timing and the best way to serve each facility.

How does Physician Housecalls interact with facility staff?

We respond quickly and efficiently to patient and facility needs. PHC support staff are available to patients, caregivers and facility staff from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A PHC staff member is on call for evening and weekend hours.

With real-time access to our state-of-the-art electronic health records, our support team will quickly get to know you, your residents and their care plans. We develop an individualized facility protocol to better coordinate care for patients, establish preferred methods and frequency of communication, and assure smooth delivery of services.

Will we always have the same team of clinicians servicing our residents?

Yes. We schedule the same clinicians for each facility unless the clinician is out of town or patients need to be seen immediately. In an urgent case, we will arrange for patients to be seen by another of our outstanding providers, who will have the benefit of the complete medical record at their fingertips.

Is there a cost to our facility to partner with Physician Housecalls?

Partnering with PHC can actually help reduce costs that directly impact residents’ health and wellness, occupancy rates and bottom-line profitability. There is no charge to the assisted living center for the convenience of having a Physician Housecalls provider visit your facility.