As a clinician myself, I have seen the power of the in-home assessment to help members live healthier lives—a key aspect of our mission. The work our Optum HouseCalls clinicians do often results in members reaching out to tell us how a visit made all the difference in their lives. In this example, proactive care actually helped save a life.
When Angela, the HouseCalls clinician, entered the member’s home, she likely expected a typical visit. But her training enabled her to quickly see critical flags that led her to making an immediate connection to the member’s care team. I am proud to lead the HouseCalls clinical field organization and do all that I can to support Angela and all of our other HouseCalls clinicians to continue this vital work.
Sometimes HouseCalls visits are routine. The members enjoy a 45-60 minute focused examination and discussion about their health concerns from the comfort and privacy of their home. The HouseCalls Advanced Practice Clinician leaves them confident about their health and clear on how to manage any conditions or take their medication properly. But occasionally, that HouseCalls visit proves to be an essential link to helping a member avert a serious health event. That was the case when HouseCalls provider Angela visited a member whose wife had recently passed away.
The gentleman was struggling with his grief and Angela was able to talk with him about his loss and the need to take good care of himself. His wife had scheduled doctor’s appointments in the past and he was not as diligent as she about keeping current with them. Then, during Angela’s physical examination of the member, she identified a possible bilateral carotid artery condition.
Angela talked with the member about what this could mean, including heightened risk of stroke. With his permission, Angela called his primary care provider to report the finding. Angela helped the member schedule an appointment and also suggested he talk with his physician about his depression and anxiety over his wife’s passing.
The member was thrilled to see Angela a year later for the next HouseCalls visit. In fact, he was so moved by what she had done for him, he called HouseCalls to express his gratitude and report that he thought Angela and the program were “super”!
Angela was glad that she could help the member at such a critical time in his life. She enjoys how a visit can start with some suspicion and reluctance on the member’s part. But then, through her careful questions and thoughtful answers, she leaves the member satisfied with the experience and confident about their health.
As Optum HouseCalls employees, this is the kind of positive and caring experience providers like Angela create for every member at every home visit.
Learn more at: www.optum.com/housecalls
Jennifer Pryce DNP, CNE, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Vice President HouseCalls Clinical Field Operations