Why Choose the Geriatric & Medical House Call Program

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About Us

Many elders struggle with disability and severe chronic illness, and often have difficulty getting to the doctor’s office.  As a result, their health status may suffer, and lead to unnecessary ER visits, hospitalization, or nursing home care. In 1999, recognizing these needs of frail elders and their families, we created the Medical House Call program to provide medical and social services that help elders remain in their homes with dignity.

The Medical House Call Program is nationally recognized for quality and outcomes of our care. We care for patients at home, and also provide state-of-the-art hospital and specialty care. Our inpatient team directly cares for House Call patients who need emergency or acute hospital care.  Our Social Services operate the Medicaid EPD waiver service and support caregivers through monthly support groups and a weekly prayer phone line.

Medical House Call Program

  • House calls are made by doctors and nurse practitioners for primary and urgent care
  • We offer a full range of diagnostic tests and treatments comparable to an urgent care center
  • Home delivery of medications and equipment
  • Coordination of home nursing, physical therapy, and hospice
  • On-call physician: 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone
  • Mobile electronic health record (EHR)
  • Coordination of specialty care and procedures at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • In-home counseling and caregiver support by social workers and other staff
  • Coordination of in-home support services, such as home health aides, respite care, and financial assistance
  • Case management for the Medicaid Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (EPD) Waiver

Enrollment / Insurance

Patients may be enrolled in the Medical House Call Program by calling 202-877-0576.   The office is open 8:30AM-4:30PM on Monday- Friday.  To qualify for the Medical House Call Program, patients must:

  • Be 65 years or older and have difficulty getting to the doctor’s office
  • Live in one of these zip codes: 20001, 20002, 20009, 20010, 20011, 20012, 20017, 20018
  • Have Medicare, Medicaid, or some other health insurance that will pay for house call care.
  • Agree to give up their previous primary doctor in order to join the program

As in a doctor's office, the primary health insurance (like Medicare Part B) covers 80% percent of visit fees, and the secondary insurance (or the patient) is billed for the remaining 20%.

When calling about enrollment, please have the following information:

  • Patient's name, address, telephone number
  • Patient's date of birth and social security number
  • Patient's next of kin and emergency contact information
  • Patient's health insurance information (including type and group number)
  • Patient's current medical conditions and concerns
  • Ability to retrieve patient's recent medical records

Scheduling

Once we determine a patient is eligible, we conduct an in-person orientation at our office with the primary caregiver.   We can do phone orientations for patients who have no family members available. Each patient is assigned a geriatrician and a nurse practitioner. The doctor sees the new patient at home within two weeks of enrollment.  After the doctor’s initial visit, the nurse practitioner makes 2-3 follow-up visits, and provides urgent visits as needed on weekdays. The physician and NP work as a team and both continue to see the patient at home. While visit frequency is based on severity of illness, we usually visit patients at least once a month.

Our office staff call the patient or family one day before a visit to confirm appointments, providing timeframes when the clinician will arrive, such as between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM or between Noon and 5:00 PM.  Patient visits are scheduled in these time windows because we need flexibility to schedule the most ill patients whenever needed and must also account for driving and traffic issues.

Hospital Care and Specialists

Our team coordinates emergency, hospital and specialty care at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.  Patients may keep their previous specialist doctors and we can work with them as needed. If new specialist care is required, we make a referral at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Our office staff schedule the specialty appointment and can assist in arranging transportation to the appointment.

When our House Call patients require hospitalization, either through the emergency department or a scheduled admission, our House Call nurse practitioners and doctors arrange the admission, and our doctors care for you in the hospital. Our clinicians work with office staff to coordinate admissions to MedStar Washington Hospital Center's Geriatrics Unit.  Our OrthoGeriatrics hospital team offers teamwork of geriatrics, orthopedics, rehabilitation, and nursing care for elders suffering from falls and fractures.

Social Work Services

Social worker services, if needed, include a licensed social worker who will provide care coordination services to our patients. Care coordination services include:

  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Development of an individual treatment plan
  • Information and referral to appropriate resources and supports
  • Education, emotional support and counseling to patients and families
  • Advocacy within service networks
  • Crisis intervention
  • Assists with identifying alternative placement as needed

Office-Based Geriatrics Primary Care

For those elderly patients who live outside our House Call zip codes or do not qualify for home-based medical care, we offer an office-based geriatrics practice. This primary care service at the Ambulatory Care Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is staffed by our Geriatrics fellow and a supervising attending geriatrician. These physicians provide long-term primary care in this office setting.

Geriatrics Fellowship

In addition to the excellent patient care, we also provide training to physicians who want to develop expertise in care of the elderly. This one-year training fellowship focuses on preparing fellows to deliver elder care that is patient and family-centered and comprehensive. Fellows learn to take care of patients in all care settings, with a teaching faculty of five geriatricians that have expertise in providing this care. For more information, please use the following link:

http://www.medstarhealth.org/gme/affiliated-hospitals/medstar-washington-hospital-center/geriatrics-fellowship/

Make an Appointment

To enroll: 844-333-DOCS

Medical House Call Program
110 Irving Street NW
East Building, Room 3114
Washington, DC 20010

Learn how to enroll

Our Team

The Medical House Call Program's clinical staff includes five geriatricians, five nurse practitioners, four social workers, and one office nurse.

  • Eric De Jonge, MD
    Section Director, Geriatrics
  • George Taler, MD
    Director, Long Term Care
  • Stephanie R. Bruce, MD, FACP
    Medical Director, Medical House Call Program
  • Kathryn Rackson, MD
    Faculty Physician
  • Janet Goldberg, CRNP
    Chief Nurse Practitioner
  • Michelle Sullivan, CRNP
  • Robyn Feely, CRNP
  • Nancy Sassa, CRNP
  • Genet Taye, CRNP
  • Nadine Hailu, LPN
  • Jennifer Crawley, LICSW
    Chief Social Worker
  • Monica Thomas, LICSW
  • Ruth Shea, LICSW
  • Gretchen Nordstrom, LGSW

The Medical House Call Program’s Office Staff includes:

  • Sandra Mills- House Call Coordinator
  • LaWanda Holeman- House Call Coordinator
  • Carrie Carmon- MOA III
  • Kesha Smith- MOA III
  • Julie Beecher- Director of Strategy & Operations
  • Candi Cofer- Business Manager