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Aging population, new techology spur house call comeback

Physician Practice Advisor, March 16, 2006

Physician house calls are making a comeback, according to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although a 1997 analysis reported that house calls were on the decline, the new study shows that between 1998 and 2004, the annual number of house calls for Medicare patients increased 43% to two million per year.

The report attributes the increase in house calls to the aging population, advances in portable medical technology, and the 1998 Medicare increase of nearly 50% in allowable reimbursement for home visits. The 2004 Medicare allowed charge for a comprehensive visit to an established patient is approximately $110.

Click here to read an abstract of the report.