Spotlight on Caring: Karen M.

HouseCalls advanced practice clinician Karen knows that some members are hesitant to engage in a home visit. People may have misconceptions about the purpose for coming into their home. However, HouseCalls APCs place an initial phone call to members before visits to answer any questions and explain the value of the visits. In this specific case, Karen made the value of the visits very clear to a couple who was reluctant to schedule the appointment.

Karen’s story

During Karen’s phone call with the new members, a couple, the wife asked several questions about the program. She expressed hesitancy toward the program. Karen assured her that not only does HouseCalls allow ample time with members to discuss health concerns, but the visits also help to decrease hospital admissions. Past members have also consistently given high praise for the program.

In the visit, the husband, a veteran, had a lot of leg pain, particularly when walking. Karen also noted that he had evidence of potential vascular disease upon her examination of his legs. She performed a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) test, which members are screened for every two years to help detect vascular disease.

The test results verified what Karen suspected: severe PAD. With the member’s permission, Karen called his primary care doctor at the VA to report the findings. The office arranged for him to come in right away and ultimately confirmed that he had PAD.

Moved by the experience, the wife reached out to the HouseCalls program and personally thanked Karen for her invaluable help. She could see that Karen was an advocate for her and her husband and an important connection to their primary care provider. Although she initially questioned the home visit, she now heartily encourages her friends to participate in the HouseCalls program.

This is the kind of positive and caring experience that Optum HouseCalls clinicians deliver every day.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer Pryce DNP, CNE, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Vice President, HouseCalls Clinical Field Operations, Optum

Dr. Jennifer Pryce is a nurse practitioner currently serving as Vice President of clinical field operations for Optum HouseCalls. Her responsibilities include oversight and management of the clinical workforce. Dr. Pryce earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Art with dual concentrations of Adult Health Nurse Practitioner and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from New York University. She completed George Washington University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in 2014 specializing in nursing education and has since achieved Certified Nurse Educator designation.

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