Frail Elders House Call Program

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Published on April 19, 2017

Frail Elders House Call Program

Frail Elders House Call Program serves approximately 80 residents throughout Merrimack County.The Frail Elders House Call Program at Concord Hospital Family Health Center benefits elderly patients, new physicians and the healthcare system as a whole.

Geriatric patients who might have difficulty getting to appointments receive regular, coordinated care at home, helping them manage chronic conditions and providing early detection and treatment for issues that otherwise might require treatment from specialists or in the Emergency Department.

Medical residents at the NH Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency, supervised by program faculty, receive valuable hands-on training in caring for geriatric patients. And the healthcare system, especially Medicare, realizes savings from dollars that might otherwise be spent for hospitalization, specialists or Emergency Department care, without diminishing the level of care.

Under supervision from geriatrician Dr. B.J. Entwisle, each of the residency program’s 16 second- and third-year medical residents is assigned two patients. They visit each patient every other month for two years, getting to know them and their medical conditions and gaining competence and confidence in geriatric medicine.

The Frail Elders program serves approximately 80 residents throughout Merrimack County. Medical residents visit about a third of them. The others are cared for by Dr. Entwisle and a team that includes a physician assistant, nurse practitioner and two nurse coordinators.

In addition to providing excellent care and practical training, Dr. Entwisle is proud the program keeps elderly patients out of the Hospital, saving $2,000 to $3,000 a year in healthcare spending for each patient. The savings locally match similar savings recognized through studies of frail elderly home visit programs around the country, with one study estimating that expanding such programs in the United States could save $12 to $53 billion a year.