Boston Children's house call program an investment in preventive care

By Aine Cryts

Boston Children's Hospital has resurrected the old-fashioned house call, at least for a small group of very sick children and young adults, reports STAT News.

The hospital has formed a home care team that serves 300 pediatric patients who need intensive respiratory support because of injuries or chronic illnesses. The team makes five to 10 house calls per week and is on call around the clock.

The main challenge is funding--the program depends on grant money and support from the hospital, since the visits are not covered by insurance. 

Still, the program saves money by preventing expensive and often prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) visits and readmissions when patients don't transition to home well, Robert Graham, M.D., a critical care specialist, told the news outlet.

Graham said the hospital is taking the long view that the house call program is worth the preventive care investment.

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