Advances in portable medical technology, care reimbursement models, and changing consumer preferences are bringing more healthcare into the home.
Modern house calls provide care to medically complex people or those who have trouble getting to a doctors office. And the Chicago Department of Public Health offers a form of home healthcare with Covid-19 and flu vaccine appointments at home.
Still, in Chicago, the home-healthcare wave has been slow to catch on. “Chicago has been slower to grow than other parts of the country because we’ve been slower to adopt value-based care,” says Julie Sacks, president of the Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI), a nonprofit focused on home-based care programs. “[But] we are starting to see that change. Since the pandemic, more people recognize the need for and value of home-based care.”
According to HCCI, only 26% of Illinoisans in need of home-based primary care actually have it, though many qualify for home visits by virtue of having two or more chronic conditions. Sacks suggests individuals ask their primary care doctor what their options are, or search the new national directory from the American Academy of Home Care Medicine to find home-based primary care providers.