In the 1930s, doctors saw patients at home about forty percent of the time. By the 1980's, nearly all visits took place at the doctor's office.
Now, those once popular house calls are making a comeback thanks to an affordable and convenient business model. Here in Omaha, Nebraska Home Pediatrics opened last week.
16-month-old Chase Oster is home sick with a bug.
Andrea Oster, Chase's mother, says she tried to call her family doctor to squeeze in an appointment. But after thirty minutes on hold, it was time to consider another option.
She called Nurse Practitioner Erin Thoman, who opened Nebraska Home Pediatrics on February 5th.
Tuesday marked Thoman's first ever house call. Her first patient was little Chase.
Nebraska Home Pediatrics treats children fighting illnesses like the flu from the comfort of home.
"So, the nice thing with this type of practice while they are waiting for me, they could be doing laundry, they could be doing dishes or even snuggling with their kid on the couch," said Thoman.
Thoman offers a variety of services from treating illnesses like influenza to strep throat and ear infections. Thoman also treats skin infections and acute injuries like bug bites and stings. She plans to expand the practice to include well visits in Summer 2018.
Thoman says this revitalization of modern in-home care brings affordability and convenience to a practice popular in decades past.
"There definitely is a change in health care as far as making it more accessible to patients and also more affordable to patients," said Thoman. "So, I know one concern with parents is always going to be the cost. What is the cost going to be? And again, this should be cost less than a visit to their pediatrician or family doctor."
Nebraska Home Pediatrics currently accepts Cigna, Medica, Midlands Choice, and Nebraska Medicaid as "in-network" insurance providers. Pending network insurance companies include Aetna, BCBS, Coventry, Tricare, UMR, United Healthcare.