March 11, 2016
By: Arnold Goldberger, Washington, D.C.One day in October, my wife Avriel fell and suffered a stroke. Fortunately, a nurse practitioner from MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Medical House Call program quickly arrived at our home. Nurse Genet Taye evaluated Avriel’s condition and consulted with our doctor by phone. They determined that she didn’t need to go to the emergency room that evening, but could remain comfortable at home until the next morning.
Dr. George Taler, a co-founder of the Medical House Call program, helped me advocate for my wife throughout her hospitalization. He always had time to talk with my daughter and me. He never seemed to be in a rush.
As Medicare patients, my wife and I were able to join the Hospital Center’s Medical House Call program. This program is one of 14 sites of the Independence at Home Demonstration under the Affordable Care Act’s Innovation Center housed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The demonstration, which is the same model of care as the Medical House Call program, is designed to bring quality health care to frail seniors on Medicare in the comfort of their homes and avoid the more costly care in emergency rooms and hospitals. I am not enrolled in the Independence at Home Demonstration because I have not been hospitalized in the last year, which is a good thing, but that’s a criterion for the demonstration. Still the quality and type of primary care I am receiving at home is the same as for those Medical House Call patients who are enrolled and being studied in the demonstration.
READ MORE: Getting Care Where I’m Most Comfortable—at Home