Physicians are getting more money for Medicare house calls this year, the result of a new HCFA reimbursement plan.
After intense lobbying by the American Academy of Home Physicians, HCFA bought the group's point: Physicians who visit homebound patients — who are often medically unstable, chronically ill, or whose cases are otherwise complex — deserve more money. Physicians may now claim up to $140 per visit for established patients and up to $173 for new patients — up almost 100 percent from last year.
Not that it makes a lot of difference. The typical family physician makes only one home visit per week.