You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Study: House calls for frail elders bring savings

- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014

(AP) - House calls may sound like a luxury.

But a new study finds that bringing team-based primary care into the homes of frail, hard-to-treat seniors saves Medicare money -- by keeping them from needing pricier hospital or specialist care.

The study comes from a house-call program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the nation's capital.

Researchers compared Medicare claims of 722 house-call patients with 2,161 similarly ill patients who never received home medical care.

Over two years, total Medicare costs were 17 percent lower for the house-call patients. That's an average savings of about $4,200 per person per year.

A large Medicare project is underway with 17 house-call programs around the country to test if the approach really improves care while saving money.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.