Healthcare News & Insights

Can house calls actually cost less in the long run?

House calls went the way of the dodo bird for a reason: It’s an inefficient way to see patients. But new research indicates it may save money in the long run.

Sound crazy? It’s not.

Especially for seniors or patients managing a chronic disease, the more relaxed one-on-one interaction of  a house call allows better patient care in general — specifically preventative care. The service is particularly useful in treating the home-bound, or those with mobility issues who often hesitate to make the trek to the doctor’s office as often as they should.

In the limited areas where house calls are being tried again, clinicians say they’re seeing fewer avoidable hospital admissions. In turn, fewer hospitalizations means less money spent and greatly reduced risk of complications.

While the upfront costs of this type of patient care is higher than a traditional doctor visit, in the long run it does save money. Various studies of pilot house call programs have found that it cuts the patients’ number of days hospitalized by one-half to two-thirds.

Would your physicians and nurse practitioners be willing to make house calls? Think it’d save money in the long run? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. I live in southeast Michigan and work for a home health and hospice agency. There are many visiting doctor groups here and for the most part, I have found them to be very reputable and helpful for our home bound patients who either do not have a doctor or cannot get out to visit one.