House call

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For the online virus scanner, see HouseCall. For the television show, see House Call.
"House calls" redirects here. For other uses, see House Calls.

A house call is a visit to the home of a patient or client by a doctor or other professional.[1] In some locations, families used to pay dues to a particular practice to underwrite house calls.[2]


In the early 1960s, house calls by doctors were 40% of doctor-patient meetings. By 1980, it was only 0.6%.[citation needed] Reasons include increased specialization and technology. In the 1990s, team home care, including physician visits, was a small but growing field in health care, for frail older people with chronic illnesses, but then 2000 health agencies went out of business.

The reasons for fewer house calls include lack of physician education, concerns about providing low-quality care in the home, time inefficiency, inconvenience, and lower pay. Yet, there are more and more doctors who like the idea of no office overhead. Also, it can provide safe access to care by people who are ill.[3] Today, house calls may be making a revival among the wealthy through concierge telemedicine.[4]


In 2012 as part of its Action Plan for Healthcare[5] the province of Ontario actively expanded funding for access to house calls with its primary focus being on seniors and those with physical limitations making it difficult for travel outside the home.[6] Residents of Ontario with valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan cards are able to take advantage of the house call system, and arrange for appointments with physicians at their home.[7]


  1. ^ Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  2. ^ Twain, Mark. (1905 & editor commentary 2010 & 2001) Autobiography of Mark Twain, The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Volume 1. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520267190
  3. ^ Leff, Bruce, MD; Burton, John R. (2001) The Future History of Home Care and Physician House Calls in the United States. The Gerontological Society of America: Journal of Gerontology: MEDICAL SCIENCES 2001, Vol. 56A, No. 10, M603–M608 Oxford University
  4. ^ "Concierge telemedicine, the future house call". 2015-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Ontario's Action Plan for Healthcare" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "Ontario Expanding House Call Services". 2012-12-11. 
  7. ^ "Patients - House Calls".