Many elders struggle with disability and severe chronic illness, and often have difficulty getting to the doctor’s office. As a result, their health status may suffer, and lead to unnecessary ER visits, hospitalization, or nursing home care. In 1999, recognizing these needs of frail elders and their families, we created the Medical House Call program to provide medical and social services that help elders remain in their homes with dignity.
The Medical House Call Program is nationally recognized for quality and outcomes of our care. We care for patients at home, and also provide state-of-the-art hospital and specialty care. Our inpatient team directly cares for House Call patients who need emergency or acute hospital care. Our social services link patients and families to community resources, support caregivers through monthly support groups and weekly meditation calls. In DC, our social workers also provide case management services to eligible patients in the Medicaid Elderly and Persons with Disability waiver program.
K. Eric De Jonge, MD, co-founder of the Medical House Call program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and his colleagues, conducted a study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) that underscores the value of home healthcare for the nation's most vulnerable and frail elders.
- House calls are made by doctors and nurse practitioners for primary and urgent care
- We offer a full range of diagnostic tests and treatments comparable to an urgent care center
- 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
- Mobile electronic health record (EHR)
- Coordination of specialty care and procedures at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
- In-home counseling and caregiver support by social workers and other staff
- Coordination of in-home support services, such as home health aides, respite care, and financial assistance
- (DC only) Case management for the Medicaid Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (EPD) Waiver
Hospital Care and Specialists
Our team coordinates emergency, hospital and specialty care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Patients may keep their previous specialist doctors and we can work with them as needed. If new specialist care is required, we make a referral at MedStar Washington Hospital Center or MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Our office staff schedule the specialty appointment and can assist in arranging transportation to the appointment.
When House Call patients require hospitalization, either through the emergency department or a scheduled admission, our nurse practitioners and doctors arrange the admission, and our doctors care for you in the hospital. Our clinicians work with office staff to coordinate admissions to MedStar Washington Hospital Center's Geriatrics Unit or MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital depending on patient location. In DC, our physicians also provide Ortho-Geriatric hospital care to non-house call patients. This specialty service was created to ease complications and provide geriatric expertise to MWHC.
Social Work Services
Social worker services, if needed, include a licensed social worker who will provide care coordination services to our patients. Care coordination services include:
- Psychosocial assessment
- Development of an individual treatment plan
- Information and referral to appropriate resources and supports
- Education, emotional support and counseling to patients and families
- Advocacy within service networks
- Crisis intervention
- Assists with identifying alternative placement as needed
Jennifer Hayashi, MD, medical director of MedStar Total Elder Care in Baltimore, explains the healthcare system's medical house call program for aging adults.