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Small town combines high tech and old-time house calls for seniors

April 7, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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The mayor of a rural town near Oklahoma City has started a small business called Physician Housecalls that combines old-time in-home care delivery methods with modern technology. Hank Ross, a veteran of the hospital industry, saw a need to deliver healthcare and testing services to seniors at their residences whether they are living at home or in a retirement community.

Once a person is evaluated by a social worker, Physician Housecalls can send a doctor, when needed, or to perform point-of-care tests such as x-rays, blood pressure checks, laboratory work, prescription refills and more. The goal of the program is to reduce costly emergency department visits while raising the level of healthcare for homebound seniors.

Ross isn't the only one taking a new look at an old care delivery model. Several senior care chains have added home-based physician services to their portfolios, including Kindred Healthcare’s House Calls. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also is testing the “doc comes to you” method through a demonstration project launched in 2012. The pilot now includes 15 states and the District of Columbia. 

The uniqueness of this “new” model of healthcare sparked the interest of Deluxe Corp., a growth engine for small business development which launched a year-long campaign called the Small Business Revolution to document small businesses like Physician Housecalls that deliver a personal touch.