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Will be interesting to follow ho ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:19pm

Will be interesting to follow how this evolves...getting the contract to care for Microsoft employees was a huge start...I'm sure there are many instances where a house call would be welcomed over having to sit in a busy ER room if it is not an emergency...I would like to hear back from anyone who has had any experience with a visit from the organization...BD 

You twist your ankle, or you get a nasty flu and spike a high fever. It doesn’t feel like a life-and-death situation, but it’s pretty bad the middle of the night, or you can’t get in to see your doctor. So you head for the emergency room. image

Enter Carena, a little company out in Seattle, that’s betting that self-insured companies can save money by having employees skip some trips to the ER and get a house call from a family doc instead. image

The company’s big break came a few years back, when it cut a deal to do house calls for most of Microsoft’s 85,000 Seattle-area employees. Now it’s looking to expand the business, and recently got a contract that covers some 45,000 employees of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

It works like this: A sick or injured employee calls a nurse line. More than half the time, the employee will be told the situation isn’t an emergency, and can wait for a trip to the doctor or the urgent care center. About 10% of the people who call are told to head for the ER immediately. But that leaves about 20-25% of the calls, where the patient shouldn’t wait but doesn’t need the high-intensity, high-cost care of the ER.

Health Blog : Betting That a House Call Is Cheaper Than a Trip to the ER

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