Kevin Costello, MD, assistant professor of medicine and an internist/geriatrician, has launched a study funded by the New York State Department of Health to assess whether having doctors visit elderly patients at home in the days just after they’ve been discharged from the hospital measurably improves their quality of care, prevents hospital readmissions and is cost effective.
Dr. Costello’s study is supported by the state’s Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program. It will compare the health outcomes of randomly chosen older adults discharged from the hospital who receive physician house calls and the outcomes of those who do what is most common: wait for a follow-up appointment at their doctor’s office.
Dr. Costello has focused his practice almost exclusively on house calls, primarily visiting elderly home-bound patients, since 2006. He believes house calls have kept his frail patients healthier and more stable.
“Visiting patients and getting to know them in their homes gives me a more complete picture of their physical, social and emotional status, and allows me to respond immediately with prescriptions, orders for medical equipment, instructions for care, as well as to answer questions, especially from caregivers, who are important partners in a patient’s care,” he said.