Doctors That Make House Calls

By Ann Weichbrodt

From the Autumn 2004 issue of Hopes & Dreams, newsletter of the Illinois Chapter, Huntington's Disease Society of America.

As the HD patient enters into the more advanced stages of the disease, he becomes homebound. The task of transporting him to a doctor’s office can be a struggle. The patient is also more prone to getting pneumonia or having small mishaps or accidents. This can cause a costly trip in an ambulance to the nearest emergency room. There is help without leaving the comfort of your home. There are physicians that make house calls and right here in the state of Illinois.

Two years ago my husband had another bout with aspiration pneumonia and placed on hospice and I could no longer get him to the doctor’s office. His medications needed constant regulation. Previously, it took the whole family hours to get him in and out of the car and transported to the doctor’s office for a basic checkup. My Internal Medicine doctor referred me to Home Care Physicians. Home Care Physicians is a Physician House-Call service based in Wheaton, IL and sponsored in part by Central DuPage Hospital. The nice thing is you do not need a doctor’s referral or for the patient to be terminal to use the service. Home Care Physicians work with the family, home care staff and/or other healthcare professionals to provide the best quality of care for the patient. The service I used has three full-time doctors on staff, plus two nurse practitioners. These doctors only make house calls.

The service has twenty-four phone coverage for emergencies. These physicians bring high tech portable equipment into your home to provide the best care. They can do EKG’s, cardiac monitoring, x-rays, fracture care, gastrostomy tube changes, wound care, disease management, vaccinations, flu shots, respiratory assessments, and prescribe medicine just to mention a few of the many things they can do. They can even draw blood, spin it in a blood spinner in the trunk of their car and send it back to the lab in their office for quick results. These physicians make eight to nine house calls in a given day. They can make referrals for home health services such as nurses, nurse aides, speech therapist, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. The service I used also gave me a list of doctors in Dentistry, Optometry, Audiology (Home Hearing Services), and Podiatry; plus a Wound Care Specialist and a hair dresser who all make house calls in my area. These doctors are highly qualified. I was very pleased with the service I received from them. This specific service covers all of DuPage county, eastern Kane county, northern Will county and parts of northwest Cook county.

Know that this is not the only Home Care service in the state. The service I used hooked me up with the website for the American Academy of Home Care Physicians (AAHCP) which is The site lists Home Care Physicians all over the country. When I went on the website, I found a service in Rockford called MD at Home which covers many counties in northern Illinois. The website also lists services in Chicago and Cook County. I was informed that some doctors who see patients in their office may also do house calls. If you do go on this website and do not see a service near you, you might try asking your primary care physician if he knows of any in your area. I’m told that the AAHCP does not list every Home Care Physician Service. AAHCP lists only those services who are members of the academy. Know that the AAHCP does not check the compliance of its members in regard to licensing, billing, or other regulatory requirements. It cannot attest to the qualifications of the individual physicians. It is your job as the family to ask for such qualifications when contacting a service.

These services I have talked about are basically for the elderly and the homebound. They are not to be confused with concierge home medical services or what is considered boutique medicine. Concierge home medical services are for the very wealthy who must pay a fee to use the service. There should not be any type of membership fee to belong to a home care physician service. You are billed just as if you were seeing a doctor in his office. The service is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many major insurance companies. I believe by using this service it will allow the patient to remain at home longer and to save on unwanted and costly trips to the emergency room.

Created and maintained by Renette Davis. Send comments to Renette by clicking here.

Created: Nov. 11, 2004
Last updated: Nov. 13, 2010