Mobile Medical Care, Lab Tests, X-rays at Home

Caregiving Tips

Guidance on how to properly care for your loved ones as they navigate through the aging process

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AARP Expert

Mobile Medical Care, Lab Tests, X-rays at Home

Setting up home-based medical care was incredibly helpful as I cared for both of my parents who lived with me. Truly a lifesaver! Now, with the pandemic, people are even more reticent to take older loved ones out in the community for care. Telehealth is helping, but sometimes your loved ones need to be seen in person, or labs and tests are necessary. Here are some tips for setting up medical care at home:

  • Mobile doctors who make 'house calls' - Check with Medicare or other insurance carrier to find out if care at home is included in coverage and find out what makes a person eligible. Ask if they can refer you to local options. (Or if you find a mobile doctor they can run your insurance to find out if coverage is allowed). To find mobile or home-based doctors, nurse practitioners etc.:
    • If your loved one is a Veteran and enrolled in VA healthcare, find out if he/she qualifies for "VA Home-Based Primary Care". My Dad had this and it was wonderful - nurse practitioner, doctor, nurse, home health etc. came to our home.
    • Ask the hospice or palliative care team.
    • Ask Medicare or other insurance company - ask if your loved one is eligible for home-based medical care. 
    • Do an online search. Try search terms like "mobile doctor", "doctors who make house calls","home-based care", etc.
  • Labs and other Tests - When caring for my parents we had x-rays, blood-draws, swallow tests, ultrasounds, EKGs - all at home. Mobile labs are more readily available these days. But I find many doctors don't know about them so they don't offer it up or refer people to them. A few ways to find these services:
    • Do an online search. Try search terms like "mobile laboratory or labs", "x-ray at home", "mobile ultrasound", "mobile EKG", "mobile imaging" etc.
    • Ask a mobile doctor. If you locate a mobile doctor or one who makes house calls, ask them about any laboratories etc. they use (even if you're not going to use the mobile docs they should be able to give you referrals). We often used mobile labs even when we had to go to specialists in person - at least it was one less trip outside the home.
    • Call the lab company your insurance uses (such as Labcorp, Sonoraquest etc.) and ask if they offer any mobile services in your area or if they have a referral for you.
    • Call the insurance company - and ask if they can refer you to covered mobile medical services.

Some resources that might be helpful to you:

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

 

Newbie

Thank you for this information.
Contributor

In my area, (Seattle WA) we have access to "Dispatch Health".  It is just like going to an Urgent Care facility, but they come to your home.  I have used them 3 times, having some problems after getting home from a major surgery.  They were wonderful, took care of everything I needed, more than I probably would have gotten from going to an urgent care facility.