Work Comp Doctor Will See You Now
A work comp doctor that will make house calls may seem to be very old-fashioned. How about if the injured workers or their employers could make the house call appointment from a smartphone?
Update-The Wall Street Journal very recently published a great article on physicians making house calls.
That may seem like a far-fetched idea, except that it is almost a reality. Yes, there is an app for that. An Associated Press article from today says there is now an Uber approach to medicine.
A smartphone app from a company known as Pager and similar companies like Heal and Medicast are now in the market to set up in-home doctor visits for people that do not wish to wait or to travel to a regular physician’s office setting.
The work comp doctor could even see the injured employees at the employer’s location. However, a house call from a work comp doctor would enable the physician to see the background/home life of the patient.
If the same physician or physician’s group also visited the employer and discussed the return to work, this would put the claims process light years ahead of the current model.
Yesterday, I spoke with an investment group concerning technology in WC. However, the only term that I could come up with is – bereft.
One interesting note is one of the co-owners of Pager says the demographic which uses them the most are working mothers from 30 – 45 years old.
Of course, getting health insurers to pay for house calls is a problem. The price for a house call is $250 out-of-pocket. Would WC carriers spring for a more expensive appointment?
A very heavy cost-benefit analysis would have to be undertaken to make sure that a much higher-priced house call would be worth the fee.
Ninety percent of physicians do not make house calls at this time. There is an untapped market there for the medical community. The article did say there was a level of concern by physicians concerning house calls for chronic conditions. Sixty years ago, chronic conditions were treated by house calls.
The work comp doctor visiting the patient may allay some of the hesitation about online doctor visits. Following up an online visit with an in-home visit could be an interesting combination of treatment. Medicast seems to have covered both bases.
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