House calls by doctors is a type of medical service
House calls by doctors is a type of medical service that has all but disappeared. But it may be making a comeback. A medical firm in Seattle called Carew a has started to send doctors to the homes of Microsoft employees who are covered by Microsoft’s medical insurance program. Microsoft decided that the house call program made good economic sense, because the cost of a house call at about $150 is one-tenth the cost of a $1,500 emergency room visit. And, because most emergency room visits are not made for real medical emergencies but for non-life-threatening medical problems such as ear infections and the flu, house calls could be safely substituted for emergency room visits. Moreover, house calls enable doctors to examine patients in their own surroundings, which might provide valuable clues related to the patient’s condition. Moreover, by not having to leave their houses, patients will not spread germs in emergency rooms. Do you think channels for medical services that provide for “home delivery” will become an important trend? Why or why not?
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