Shuree K. Oldehoeft-Ohlemann, a physician’s assistant and owner of Arizona Mobile Medicine, works with a patient during a house call. Photo by Cory Bergquist
House Calls Make A Comeback
Home Visits From Healthcare Professional Might Be A Better And Cheaper Way Of Providing Treatment
Medical care has changed dramatically in the 21st century.
The thought of a medical professional turning up at her patient’s home, medical bag in hand, is an old-fashioned and idyllic idea that most of us thought had seen its day.
Medical professionals in the valley are showing patients that house calls might be a better and more cost-effective way of providing treatment, especially for busy business executives, stay-at-home mothers of multiple children, and the elderly who have a difficult time getting out of the house.
“We are cutting out all the excuses people have for not taking care of themselves,” said Shuree K. Oldehoeft-Ohlemann, a physician’s assistant and owner of Arizona Mobile Medicine.
“We take care of busy business executives that don’t want to stop to go to the doctor. We go to their office. We have stay-at-home mothers who don’t want to deal with taking all three kids to the doctor, so we go to their home. We also take care of some older folks who don’t want to have to leave their home.”
Oldehoeft-Ohlemann says the medical professionals with Arizona Mobile Medicine can do everything in a home or office than can be done in a primary care physician’s office.
“There really aren’t any limitations,” said Oldehoeft-Ohlemann, whose company can do everything from blood sugar checks to botox injections. “We’ve tried to cut out every limitation or obstacle. We even carry common prescriptions so you don’t have to go to the pharmacy. We try to make it as convenient as possible so we are a one-stop shop for our patients’ medical needs.”
And in an era of spiraling medical costs, house calls can actually be relatively affordable. Most medical professionals in the valley who make house calls charge around $150-$175 for a house call. Most don’t take insurance.
“What most people like best is the personalized care we are able to give them,” said Megan spears, a nurse practitioner and owner of Arizona House Calls, which offers house calls to treat chronic medical conditions such as heart failure, emphysema, diabetes, high blood pressure, paralysis and others. “For those who are taking care of loved ones, we are able go into the home while they are working to handle medical needs. We almost become part of the family.”
Another big segment for the house-call industry are tourists and winter visitors. To help with their guests’ medical needs, Oldehoeft-Ohlemann is on call for sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, The Boulders, and Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains.
“Most of the questions people have,” Oldehoeft-Ohlemann said, “are, ‘Am i going to get the same person each time? Can you be my primary care physician? Do you take credit cards?’ The answer to all those questions is ‘yes.’
“We are bringing back personalized care,” she continued. “We have gotten so far away from that and people get so frustrated when they have to see a different person each time they go to the doctor’s office. The bottom line is that we just want to help people. It’s as simple as that.”