With an urgent care center on every corner and ‘telemedicine’ (that is the fancy word for being able to consult a doctor, nurse, or physician assistant via your smart phone or your computer), this begs the question:
Why Pay Good Money For a House Call Doctor?
1. You are home bound, really sick, and do not want to go to the emergency room. This is one of the most common house call requests I get. A good house call doctor can do all the triage testing that is done in an emergency room like vital signs, an EKG, cardiac enzymes, x-rays, urine, blood tests, ultrasounds, etc…all in your home. The emergency room would charge thousands of dollars for this testing. Why not have this done in your home and get it reimbursed by your insurance plan?
2. You need a narcotic medication like a pain killer or a benzodiazapene (that is the pharmaceutical term for a medicine in the Valium family like alprazolam aka Xanax). These cannot be prescribed over the phone or by any of those telemedicine companies.
3. You want quality medical care by a Board Certified Medical Doctor. I am sure there are plenty of very nice nurses and physician assistants out there, but if I am really sick or my family is really sick, I want a competent, experienced physician caring for them.
4. You do not want to contract a bunch of germs in a doctor’s office or hospital. Do you know what a nosocomial infection is? Well there are medical journals dedicated to the word ‘nosocomial.” It is the fancy word for hospital-acquired infection. Hospitals and busy doctors offices are the play grounds of nasty bacteria. I don’t care how much antibacterial hand sanitizer is hanging around. [In fact, the hand sanitizers may be predisposing to resistant bacteria but that is another topic].
5. You are busy working and the cost of getting to a doctor, waiting around, seeing the doctor, and returning to work out weighs the cost of the doctor coming to you. Let’s face it, here in Manhattan, my time is money. When I am busy seeing patients in the office, do I call a house call doctor for myself or my daughter when busy? You bet!