Housecalls And Virtual Doctor’s Visits: Two New Medical Trends

(CBS) — You’re feeling sick, so you go to your doctor’s office. Right?

Those days could be coming to an end. There are new ways to see the doctor without ever leaving home.

CBS 2’s Erin Kennedy reports.

Parents usually take kids to the doctor’s office. Now, some doctors in Chicago are coming to the kids’ homes.

Doctor Daniel Weissbluth, founder of Weissbluth Pediatrics Group, began making non-emergency housecalls last fall.

The Jacoby family has used the service several times for their two small children and love the convenience. When they need an appointment, they just call up Weissbluth’s app and pick a date and time.

“I think it creates a great relationship with the doctor and the nurse that kids are really comfortable. They are excited to see them,” mom Tamar Jacoby says.

There’s another new trend: You can see and talk to your doctor online, no matter where you are.

Walgreens has partnered with MDLive to provide access to board-certified doctors through the drugstore chain’s app and website.

Meanwhile, doctors affiliated with the DuPage Medical Group have just started offering video visits for their patients for illnesses like allergies, depression, back pain, colds, minor injuries and rashes.

Besides convenience, in-home housecalls and virtual visits offer patients a health benefit as well.

Patients “are not going to infect anybody in a waiting room or be exposed to anybody in a waiting room,” says Dr. Brett Hampson with DuPage Medical Group.

These new ways to access care are growing, and doctors say they are fulfilling a need in today’s on-demand society.

“I think in a few years we are going to forget that it was ever a new type of delivering health care services,” says Harry Leider, chief medical officer for Walgreens.

Doctor visits through DuPage Medical Group and the Walgreens app cost around $50. Most insurers don’t cover it yet.

The pediatrician also charges an extra transportation fee to make a housecall.

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