Smart Moves Blog

The amazing house call

January 24, 2018


“I’m a physical therapist in private practice”, I proudly exclaimed to my client, feeling snubbed as she referred to me as “part of an agency”. I don’t blame her since most care in the home historically originated from home health care agencies. But just as online retail, spurned by technology, cost-effectiveness, and convenience grows, the “house call” re-emerges, first fueled by the frail elderly and increasingly embraced by older (and even younger) adults. The physician house call. The physician assistant house call. The nurse practitioner house call. The physical therapist house call. Companies formed of these practitioners, offering house calls, covered by Medicare Part B and other insurance companies.

Certified home health agencies provide care across skilled nursing, therapy, and home health aide services, and coordinate benefits across Medicare Parts A (usually after a hospitalization) and B. Medicare covers this interdisciplinary care for homebound beneficiaries. Physical therapists in private practice provide outpatient physical therapy in the home (the house call) for Medicare Part B beneficiaries. The beneficiary does not need to be homebound.

I embrace physical therapy house calls after years of juggling multiple clients at an outpatient facility. I can provide thoughtful, effective, one on one care, without the worry of pushing volume to cover overhead costs. Studies show no difference between patients receiving therapy at a facility and home-based therapy. As a consumer, you benefit from the convenience, with no detriment to your recovery.

Manju Thomas

Written by Manju Thomas who lives and works in New York. Follow her on LinkedIn.