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Microsoft Brings Back the House Call

Seattle-based Microsoft solved the problem of expensive emergency department (ED) claims by its employees and their families with a new model: engage a team of physicians to make house calls. The visiting physicians save the company 35 percent against an ED visit and have become a popular benefit, according to an article in the Nov. 16 issue of Business Week.

The  program, called Mobile Medicine, also is proving another benefit for Microsoft and its employees during the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Employees can be diagnosed at home without infecting coworkers or visiting an ED. Family members can be seen without having to leave the house.

While several physicians throughout the nation have adopted a cash-only house call model, this approach by Microsoft is unique in that it was established to solve a problem with growing visits to EDs for non-life threatening situations. And because home visits typically last up to an hour, compared with the 10 minutes most Americans average in a doctor’s office, the article says studies show the visiting physicians are better able to identify the underlying causes of a complaint and target which family members may be at risk.

Read more about the program in “The Return of the House Call” (Conlin, Nov. 5).

Certified Emergency Department Coder CEDC

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