Medical House Call Program
through MedStar Washington Hospital Center

The Medical House Call Program provides compassionate and skilled primary health care to elders in the comfort of their homes. Our team of dedicated physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and office staff provide social and medical services that help elders remain in their homes with dignity.

This community-based program, with no office practice, is one of the first of its kind in the United States. A geriatrician, a doctor who specializes in care of frail elders, performs the initial visit and some follow-up visits, and the nurse practitioners perform urgent visits and follow-up visits.  Elders who would benefit from social services are assigned to one of our social workers or referred to the appropriate community agency.
 
Our House Call clinicians make house calls from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We have an on-call physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • House calls by doctors and nurse practitioners for primary and urgent care on a monthly and as needed basis
  • Diagnostic tests at home (blood draws, X-rays, oxygen monitoring)
  • Home delivery of medications and equipment
  • Coordination of home nursing, physical therapy, and hospice
  • On-call physician: 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone
  • Coordination of specialty care and procedures at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • In-home counseling and caregiver support
  • Coordination of in-home resources for meals, home health aides, respite care, and financial assistance
  • Case management for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Medicaid Waiver

Scheduling

Each patient is assigned a geriatrician and a nurse practitioner, who aim to see new patients within three weeks of the enrollment. The physician does the initial visit and sees the patient at least every four months. The nurse practitioners make numerous follow-up visits and provide urgent visits during the weekdays. The frequency of the visits is determined by the level of illness, but we see our patients at least once a month.

We do not give a specific appointment time because we need to schedule the most ill patients when they need to be seen. Our office staff calls the patient or family one day before the house call appointment. We provide time frames when the clinician will arrive: either 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or noon to 5 p.m.  Because of travel times and the need to see sicker patients first, we cannot make exceptions to these time frames.

Specialists and Hospitalization

Our team coordinates specialty care and procedures at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Patients can keep their previous specialist doctors at other institutions, and we can work with them as needed. If new specialist care is needed, we make a referral, and our support staff schedules the appointment.

When our House Call patients require hospitalization, either through an emergency room or a scheduled admission, our House Call doctors arrange the admission and care for them in the hospital. Our clinicians work with our support staff to coordinate admissions to MedStar Washington Hospital Center's Geriatrics Inpatient Unit. 

Our close follow-up and urgent house call visits reduce hospital utilization, including ER visits, and reduce the average length of stay per hospitalization.

Enrollment

  • Live in one of these D.C. zip codes: 20001, 20002, 20009, 20010, 20011, 20012, 20017, or 20018
    • If the patient lives in 20019, 20020, or 20032, call the Unity House Call program at 202-561-4190.
  • Be 65 years or older and have difficulty getting to the doctor's office, and
  • Have Medicare, Medicaid, or some other non-HMO health insurance.

The Medical House Call program office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patients may enroll in the Medical House Call program by calling our office at 202-877-0576. When you call, it is important to have the following information:

  • Patient's name, address, telephone number
  • Patient's date of birth and social security number
  • Patient's next of kin and emergency contact information
  • Patient's health insurance information (including type and group number)
  • Patient's current medical conditions and concerns
  • Access to copies of the patient's recent medical records

Insurance

Our program accepts Medicare Part B, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and D.C. Medicaid. We do not accept HMO insurance. As in a doctor's office, the primary health insurance (like Medicare Part B) covers 80 percent of the House Call fees, and the secondary insurance or the patient is billed for the remaining 20 percent.

 

 

Please Note:

This program is based out of MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

Enrollment is based on a strict set of criteria (listed left). To learn more, patients may call the Medical House Call Program office at 202-877-0576, open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday.