Could house calls be a major business opportunity for your health system?
It has been for Stephen Kinney, MD, who calls on the homes of dozens of patients a week through his own private practice, Metro Direct Care Medical in Washington, D.C. He provides same-day service and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Not that he's getting rich off his business model, for which he eschews commercial insurance but accepts Medicare. He isn't. But at about $200 a visit, he does make a comfortable living and says his services are less than many other physicians in his area that are performing the service.
Could this model work for a large-scale implementation by a medical group from a hospital or health system?
Well, it depends. If you are far along in your journey toward value-based care, I don't see why not. Kinney says he's been able to keep dozens of patients out of the hospital in his time doing house calls, and keeping patients from needing high-cost care that a hospital provides is a key metric for success in risk-based contracting.
Like many physicians, Kinney grew tired of dealing with work in a traditional physician practice, where he took insurance and had to see patients every 15 minutes in order to make ends meet.