Doctor home visits make a comeback

SAN DIEGO — You may think home visits by doctors are a thing of the past, but they seem to be making a comeback.

Phil Kincaid, 92, is one of a growing number of San Diegans who’ve signed up for the primary medical care Patient Centered Care program, where the doctor comes to your house for a visit.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 9.37.39 PM“I can call on the phone and tell him I need an appointment and get right in that same day,” said Kincaidm who’s about to get a routine checkup from Dr. Patrick Yassini, in his own home.

Dr. Yassini started doing home visits years ago, but now it’s caught on with patients tired of what they describe as the typical healthcare system.

“I’ve waited for two hours in the ER to get taken care of. I’ve gone to see the doctor’s and the waiting room is full of people waiting to see the same doctor,” said Kincaid.

The program doesn’t run on health insurance reimbursements or third party payers.

Patients pay Dr. Yassini a monthly fee of $100 to $200 depending on their age for unlimited visits focusing on prevention.

“My patients take less medications, have less procedures, we focus on lifestyle, we focus on prevention,” said Yassini.

Dr. Patrick Yassini

Dr. Patrick Yassini rides his bike to his patient’s house.

He said the key to his practice is keeping a small number of patients – roughly 400 – that’s significantly lower than that of a typical practice.

“Patients range anywhere from seniors that want to maintain their independence to the productive executive in their 20s and 30s, who’s time is valuable,” said the Coronado physician.

Yassini isn’t the only doctor doing home visits. A growing number of physicians are cutting out the health insurance middleman and doing business directly with their patients.

“We’re saving people from having to pay so much in health premiums and hopefully helping the saturated healthcare system,” said Yassini.