In November 2015, Desai and Dr. Dua debuted Heal for just that purpose. Today, patients who live within their service areas in California can call for one of Heal’s 75 physicians to come to their home to suture a cut, evaluate a stomach virus, perform a physical, and/or administer a flu shot. While most of these physicians are full-time Heal employees, the company also works with a small percentage of contract physicians who fill in the gaps as the startup grows. At a cost of less than $100 a visit, the fees for patients differ vastly from concierge medicine, which typically operates on a retainer model, with annual fees of $5,000 per person to bring a physician to a home.
Recently, Dr. Dua helped a patient go through his medications. It turned out he was on two blood pressure medicines of the same class—unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Dr. Dua believes medicine reconciliation is an important part of a physician’s job, and the task is much easier to perform in a person’s home, where the medicine cabinet is just a few steps away, than to rely on patients bringing their medications to a clinic appointment.
Continuity of Care
Similar home visit services are popping up in various parts of the country. Pager, which serves parts of New York, Florida, and Texas, was co-founded by one of the team members who created Uber. Swedish Express Care at Home serves the Seattle area, and their affiliate Providence Express Care at Home serves parts of California.