September 20th, 2007
08:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Richardson calls for 21st century 'house calls'

Richardson proposed a plan that would allow seniors to get health care at home.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson proposed a "house calls" medical plan Thursday that would allow senior citizens to get health care at home they now can only get at the hospital.

The New Mexico governor unveiled the plan, called "Independence at Home," at the Divided We Fail/AARP/Iowa Public Television presidential candidate forum on health and financial security. He said it could save $13 to $16 billion a year by reducing emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

"Through electronic technology, they can get their care at home," Richardson said. "They can do it instead of having 13 doctors and having to go to the hospital the healthcare would come to them at home."

Richardson spokesman Tom Reynolds said the program would be entirely voluntary and would fall under Medicare, at no additional cost to the system.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Healthcare • Iowa • Race to '08
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Stan Richards

    Imagine you get a call at work one day and told your
    kid was beat up so bad that he became unconscious and
    is at the hospital.

    You rush to the hospital to find your kid.
    The Doctor tells you he is conscious but has multiple lacerations
    and a concussion, but he is ok.
    You walk in to see you son had been beaten and you see for yourself the
    cuts, bruises and has blood clots in his eye.

    After the incident you find out the six young men that
    beat your son up are being made out to be the true
    victims and the only ones the media recognizes as
    being victimized.

    Now I intentionally took away the build up of race
    hoping you will look at the true criminal
    activity that happen in this story.

    How would you feel, regardless of your color if your
    child went to school and was beat unconscious by six
    guys and send to the Emergency Room?

    Where are the white points of view?
    Are they allowed to have a say in the media? Not one white person has been interviewed! Not even the kid that was beaten.

    Stan Richards

    September 21, 2007 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  2. Chuck, Buffalo NY

    I cannot imagine the self-serving, money hungry, arrogant Doctors of today actually making house calls. After all, they need time to play golf, trade stocks, and travel. The few seconds they spend on any lucky patient in their office is so exhausting.

    September 21, 2007 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  3. Thomas Kent, Washington, DC


    Candidates, both Republican and Democrat will do more of this as we get closer to the election. The thought is, "Old people don't care about real issues like the Iraq War and the economy – they just want their medical care cheaper and easier". It's a slimy political practice that goes unchecked.

    September 21, 2007 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Jim, Topeka, KS

    And young people don't care about anything that does not personnaly effect them and their pocketbook.

    I don't consider my self old I am only 50, burt I can still recall, family physicans making house calls, why did they do this, because their pateint was sick. And while they maintained office hours, you were not required to be ill bewteen 9-5 Monday thru Friday. They understood that people got sick in the evenings and on weekends. My Grandmother received Hospice care from her family physican before anyone thought about hospice care, in the living room of her home surrounded by family. Why, because it was the right hing to do, her family physican checked on her daily. If a person was ill with a contagious bug, he came to the house rather than having you infect everyone you came in contact with, but then Doctors tended to their patients for other reasons than money and country club membership.

    There is no reason that economical medical care can not be provided in a home setting, other than the idea that time is money and if it is done in the home setting the concept of one patient every 15 minutes for the course of the buisness day will be a bust.

    September 21, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Peter Adams, Bothell, WA

    Spectacular idea! About time we took advantage of new technology to do something significant for a generation that is not so wired themselves.
    Better care, in the home, earlier diagnosis, less expensive...
    Governor, this is a home run (get the pun!)....Bravo!!
    Think of how better this country will be just to do this...

    September 21, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Chris, Middletown, CT

    When money is no object....and you can always raise taxes to pay for the next entitlement join the Democrats....when you research the best solution to an issue while finding a cost effective method t pay for are either an independent..or a Republican...who is listening to the left wing anymore?? (Veronica...still out there?)

    September 21, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Dan (Baltimore, MD)

    Does Richardson have any idea how crazy his idea is? He governs a state where there are miles between homes. If a doctor gets stuck out in the middle of nowhere, she or he is not going to be able to take care of others while there is wait time to see if a treatment is working. And how does he propose getting lifesaving equipment and hospital labs to the homes too?

    I guess I'm not surprised, dem answers on health care are getting more and more absurd and leftist as the first caucus gets closer.

    September 21, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Mike Riali - Seattle Washington

    Bill Richardson is a "peoples president". In NM he was always
    a spokesperson for the "working man".
    I have personal knowledge of "behind the scenes" activity that he sponsors to help the "average man". He has my vote and I hope he earns yours.

    September 21, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Thomas Kent - Washington DC

    Bill Richardson's plan is no crazier than any of the other pandering Democrats and Republicans.

    Borrow-and-spend politics.

    You can't have these massive, socialist-style health care plans where everyone is taken care of, regardless of income or severity of the illness, without RAISING TAXES. Or LOWERING SPENDING. Anything else is pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams that are only possible by mortgaging our children's future by making them resolve the budget crisis.

    September 21, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Peter Adams, Bothell, WA

    This is to Thomas Kent:

    Why, sir, do you ignore the fact that this program SAVES money? You may dislike it for some reason, such as anything the govt does is bad because the govt does it, and there are people who believe that sincerely. One wonders whether such people reject govt help when they really need it out of principle or not, but that is another matter.

    But, this program: SAVES money, and, more importantly, keeps people healthier, out of hospitals, in their homes, and living independently.

    If you have a better way of making that happen for the elderly, let's hear it. Perhaps, letting private enterprise "compete" for this business? What about the vast majority of the recipients who cannot pay for it?

    September 21, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Bob, Detroit

    Okay Richardson, great idea. Now figure out and idea to convice doctors to leave the comfort of their homes and office to go to some stranger's home which may be dirty, disgusting, or uncomfortable. Stop spewing stupid ideas and actually think for once!

    September 21, 2007 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. Jim Pyles, Galesville, MD

    Apparently some have not taken the time to understand this proposal. It provides needed health care to the elderly who are so sick they wait until they have an emergency and then go to the hospital. These programs get doctors to make house calls because by allowing them to get paid for their services. The programs only get paid IF they save money, provide better outcomes and patient satisfaction. A win for patients, doctors and Medicare.

    September 23, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Eric De Jonge, MD Chevy Chase, MD

    There are hundreds of House Call doctors out there right now, caring for ill elders and caregivers, but unable to make ends meet. The Independence at Home plan rewards such portable teams that meet the medical and social needs of frail elders, prevent unnecessary hospital care, and reduce overall Medicare costs.

    September 23, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |