South Florida Hospital News
Sunday June 13, 2021

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October 2012 - Volume 9 - Issue 4


Doctors to Your Door Connects Seniors, Veterans and the Disabled With Personalized Physician and Home Visit Services

Once upon a time, family doctors actually made house calls. When called by an anxious patient, parent or caregiver, they packed up impossibly large, black leather satchels and drove to the patient’s home where they patched up minor bruises, took temperatures, checked blood pressure levels, prescribed meds, and ensured the homebound were receiving round-the-clock proper care as needed. Somewhere along the way, that to-your-door tradition for the most part vanished...until now.
Doctors to Your Door, a division of the Florida Assisted Living Coalition (FALC), is reviving the model, bringing doctors and professional caregivers directly to the frail elderly, veterans, and the homebound from Miami to Jensen Beach. And they are doing so with gratifying results. Doctors to Your Door is the brainchild of Michael Dane, Executive Director at FALC. Dane has two decades of experience in senior housing management and healthcare consulting. His passion for both stems from the personal experience of helping elderly family members access physicians and assisted living housing.
“Patients are in need of home healthcare,” said Dane. “It’s a hassle for many elderly people just getting dressed, let alone facing the stress of driving in heavy traffic to a doctor. More likely, they have to rely on family members or friends to help them make the trip. Doctors to Your Door eases that burden.”
The service is free and covered by most insurance health plans. “We have a network of licensed physicians and specialists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners available to us through our community partners - Tenet, Molina Health, Broward Health, among others,” said Dane. “These professionals are bonded and insured and provide non-urgent care for most illnesses and minor injuries in the comfort of a patient’s home. As an organization, we are motivated by outcomes, not price, with our funding provided through private donations and sponsorships.”
House calls can be requested by the patient, family member, or friend. “We ask the caller what type of insurance he or she has, then contact doctors in our network to determine who might be available to visit the home at the patient’s convenience,” said Dane.
However, sending a doctor to a patient’s home is not just a one-step event, Dane added. “It’s the plan for that patient’s ongoing care that defines the relationship. Our professionals attempt to identify and activate whatever long-term care is needed for the patient in their home or assisted living facility. That plan may involve contacting adult children or friends to give us an extra set of eyes to watch over the patient, making arrangements for in-home care, social services, or physical therapy. In many cases, it is a spouse calling us, overwhelmed with trying to provide loving care to a person who needs a lot of assistance. We try to put together a plan that alleviates that stress. It can be a simple as identifying someone to help them buy groceries or do the laundry or provide respite care for an hour or two.”
The visiting doctor can also act as an adjunct to the patient’s personal primary care physician if preferred. “We recognize that many people are reluctant to give up a doctor they have known for a long time, said Dane.
The Florida Assisted Living Coalition also works closely with patients and family members to link vulnerable patients with appropriate state and federal financial entitlement resources. “Our volunteers help seniors navigate through the process of filling out pages and pages of forms. Veterans Administration applications for example. Our goal is to help seniors, vulnerable individuals, and their family members make choices based on having all the facts. Getting them to the finish line. Bottom line,” said Dane, “ is to help the patient stay well while maintaining their dignity and the integrity of their home,” said Dane.
To learn more about Doctors to Your Door, visit and click on “Doctors” in the menu bar. You may also call (800) 939-2650.
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