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Anyone here ever have a doctor make a house call?
Old 05-30-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
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Anyone here ever have a doctor make a house call?

I was fortunate to have this into the early 1960s.
Our family doctors were twins in their 60s - never knew which was which.
It was pretty cool - the old bedside manner - helped me get well quicker I think.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:21 PM   #2
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Yes I remember the doctor coming to our home when I was sick back in the late 50s early 60s.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Sure, a few times, about 1952, 53, or thereabouts. It was in on of them behind the Iron Curtain countries. My mother paid for it with eggs and flour.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #4
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Used to do them in the early 80s when I was in private practice, at least when there was a reason to. Felt good.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:21 PM   #5
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Sure. I had a very bad case of measles in 1954, and the pediatrician came to our house. Haven't had (or needed) a house call in my adult years.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:45 PM   #6
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I remember several house calls when I was little for measles, mumps, etc.....I was terrified of our family doctor because he had big bushy eyebrows, but he was really a nice man.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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I must have had the same doctor as Meadbh! A large guy with bushy eyebrows, nice fellow, but he had this bad habit of sticking needles into me.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #8
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Yes, 1958-1961. Tonsil problems as a kid. Had them out in the first grade. That should have been in 1961. I can still smell the ether that was used to put me under.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #9
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Yep, I confess, I'm old. I remember the doc coming to our house in the mid 60's.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #10
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Yes, in 1961 or '62 I had German Measles (rubella). The doctor came to the house two or three times. Small town...
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:56 PM   #11
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Yup, back in the 50's and 60's our family Doc. made house calls. Pretty cool!
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Yup, back in the 50's and 60's our family Doc. made house calls. Pretty cool!
Did he have a matched team pulling his buggy?
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:59 PM   #13
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Yeah, and in the winter he came by sled.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:18 PM   #14
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Yes. Was it pure economics that put an end to house calls, or did they decide that it wouldn't kill you to drag yourself into the office?
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:39 PM   #15
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Yes. Was it pure economics that put an end to house calls, or did they decide that it wouldn't kill you to drag yourself into the office?
I remember in the early 1980's getting $19 from Medicare for a housecall. They did not reimburse for transportation time at all. It was considered gauche to charge patients directly for the latter, though it did become more common in the late 1980s to do so. With transportation it was about an hour of my time for $19.

So, if I generated even $75 per hour in fees in the office, each housecall cost me $56 an hour.

Of course you could always make it up in volume. <rim shot>

There are a few docs today who do nothing but house calls. They maintain no office overhead at all except a desk for billing, and they see dozens of patients at a time in facilities like assisted living complexes. It's a marginal living, usually supplemented by side work.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:23 PM   #16
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Concierge services also do house calls. You pay for the service with an annual fee and the docs involved have a much smaller patient panel then a "normal" clinic practice.

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Old 05-31-2008, 11:34 AM   #17
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Same as the others here, we had docs making house calls when I was a kid. My dad was good friends with the retired doctor father of our two family doctors. Dad and I often would go to their houses and play music with their families. We all were string players and played in a chamber orchestra together. These guys would frequently check in on my dad at his home until his death in the early 1980s. He probably was their last house call. Good guys.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:39 AM   #18
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Only remember one housecall. After a difficult delivery and birth and a scary newborne breathing incident the first day, we were all sent home from hospital. Pediatrician we had interviewed and selected (before birth) "dropped by" unannounced the next day to do an extra well baby check and make sure we were all okay and had no questions. Never billed anything - he said it was just because he himself wanted check something. Shortly after that he closed his practice to new patients except siblings and still was the busiest Doc around. Kids have been his patients ever since, but no more housecalls. I think it's a dying (dead?) practice except for very unusual situations.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:32 PM   #19
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My brother has the doctor visit once every two weeks. My MIL got weekly visits from her doctor. In both cases, they were at home during recovery from a hospital stay. I think it is a tradeoff to help get them out of the hospital sooner. (This is Canada, one in Toronto, the other in Vancouver so YMMV.)
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:40 PM   #20
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Back in the late 90's while Dad was still alive, our family Doc used to stop by every couple of weeks to see how he (and Mom) were doing. He never charged for the visit, because he would just stop by on his way home from his office.....he lives about a block away.

He still comes by occasionally when he and his GF are out for their evening walk. He's also one that can be contacted 24/7, and doesn't mind the call.....even at 3 o'clock in the morning.
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