"The Doctor Is In. In Your House, That Is."
There is growing evidence that comprehensive home medical care could be a viable alternative to the attendant woes and soaring expenses of institutional health services. It will take some important legislative changes before focused, less intrusive care in a dignified, comfortable setting can become more widely available. However, given the overall popularity of Medicare, getting a new home medical care benefit through Congress looks more promising. Linda V. DeCherrie, MD, Associate Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who runs one of the largest academic house call programs in the country, received a $9.6 million Medicare innovation award to study the expansion of home care “to include hospital level care at home and what it means for patients.” Dr. DeCherrie, who supervises two programs at Mount Sinai that treat more than 1,500 patients, says comprehensive home-based health care “has the potential to provide solutions for many problems,” suggesting that seeing patients in their natural environment may offer improved care. “It can be quite an ordeal to see a doctor in a hospital if you are a frail older adult,” Dr. DeCherrie said. “Patients are much happier not to have to go through that. In a home, you can get a better picture of what’s going on.” Learn more.