Many U.S. Adults are Interested in House Calls for the Home-Bound, Chronically Ill

January 21, 2020

Nine in 10 believe in-home visits would provide the same or better quality of care.

A new survey from CareMore Health suggests the resurgence of the house call could enable higher quality and more accessible care for people living with chronic conditions, while also alleviating caregiver burden, according to a news release.

The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareMore and Aspire Health among 2,009 U.S. adults 23 years and older, provides insights into the perceived benefits of in-home care for chronically ill patients and explores the hurdles preventing people from getting care where and when they need it.  

The majority of adults, 64%, express interest in the house call defined as a team of healthcare professionals traveling to a home-bound or chronically ill patient’s home or care facility to provide medical care, medication consultations, and social services for both regular check-ups and non-emergency medical situations.

Convenience and more personal attention are key benefits of in-home care, and 92% say the quality of care provided in-home would be better or equal to the quality offered in an office or clinic. 

Adults also saw benefits related to personalized attention, improved ability to manage well-being, and compliance with treatment plans. 

Related: House-Call Model Gains Ground with New App

According to the survey, the majority of people, 87%, want their healthcare provider to treat them or the person who they care for like a member of the family. 

Additional findings include: 

  • Seventy-nine percent agree that people would be able to better manage their health if they could have consultations with their healthcare providers in their own home.

  • The house call was cited as less stressful than an office visit for 44% of adults.

  • Sixty-four percent agree care provided at home would reveal much more than what is seen in the office or clinic.

  • Forty-two percent believe house calls allow for more personal attention from healthcare providers.

  • Forty-four percent of respondents say they would be more likely to follow an in-home health care provider’s advice versus that given in a provider’s office.

  • Forty-three percent say they would be more likely to take medication exactly as prescribed or indicated if the care were provided in-home.

“This survey validates the belief that patients and their caregivers desire more personalized, convenient, and collaborative care,” says Prakash Patel, MD, executive vice of diversified business group at Anthem, Inc., which includes CareMore Health and Aspire Health. “It’s clear an evolution of our care delivery models is required, and we are meeting this need by building an integrated set of offerings to support the whole person.”

Modern-Day House Call Could Alleviate Challenges Facing Caregivers

Among respondents who stated they are serving as a caregiver for a chronically ill person, 63% say it is difficult to care for someone else while maintaining their own responsibilities. In addition, 80% of caregivers express interest in the concept of the house call and 52% believe in-home care would be better than in the office.

The study finds that caregivers care for people with an average of three chronic conditions. Further, 69% of caregivers wish it was easier for the person they provide care for to access their healthcare provider, with over half saying they would like help understanding or administering that person’s medications, the release says.

CareMore Health Model Addresses Evolving Patient Needs

As leading providers of integrated care for more than 25 years, CareMore Health’s team-based approach to care helps keep the most sick, frail patients out of the hospital and helps those who are at risk improve and maintain their health through comprehensive treatment and prevention programs.

In addition to providing care in CareMore’s Care Centers, the organization continues to evolve models to provide a compassionate, team-based approach for patients via the at-home primary care model in Connecticut, the Hospital at Home program in California, and the Aspire palliative care support for chronically ill patients and caring for patients in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

“We believe that spending more time with our patients and understanding their day-to-day lives better enables us to focus on personalizing the care they need,” says Sachin H. Jain, MD, president, CareMore and Aspire Health. “This new survey underscores that the resurgence of home-based primary, acute, and palliative care is gaining traction for a reason-this model has shown its potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs for our country’s most frail and vulnerable patients.”