Louisiana health startup aims to bring back the house call for families
Three and a half hours and 11 total shots later, all had completed their annual well visits. Fletcher-Chairs taught their mom how to do a self-exam for breast cancer. Four of the kids, who had missed school over required vaccines, were now cleared to return. And the youngest two were now up to date with their childhood inoculations.
That day, Fletcher-Chairs' office was the
"I don't know when they would have made an appointment to get there," said Fletcher-Chairs, 47. "What doctor can take all 7? How many trips can they make back and forth?"
A host of challenges stand between a parent and a doctor's visit: transportation, child care for siblings, lost wages from missing work and hassles from school absences. House calls that might cut out these issues are often thought of as a thing of the past. But a new startup in
The startup, called
"I founded Nest in part because half of maternal mortality and a lot of infant mortality happen because of our lack of transition of care and lack of support for new families," said Gee.
"Only 43% of children had their well visits in the city of
The visits are free for Medicaid patients and will cost the same as a regular health care visit for patients with other types of insuance. Home visits are conducted by nurse practitioners or physician assistants along with a family advocate, similar to a medical assistant. Family doctors, nurses and licensed clinical social workers are available by phone and video.
The company's business model will also include telehealth, but all well visits will be in person in the home, said Brandy. The company is able to make home visits work financially because it saves on the cost of having a brick and mortar office and can see several patients at once in each household.
"We are seeing four, five, six patients in that one visit," said Brandt. "We're calling it a multiplier effect of being able to capture and touch a lot of people with the same amount of staff because we're able to povide that care to everyone in the house."
Once the company fully ramps up, each provider will see about 20 families per week.
The model is perhaps not used as much because it's harder for clinicians, said Brandt, who said it can be unpredictable for health care workers who are used to a sterile setting. But it's also a way to pick up on a lot more than a provider can in an office. Kids, especially, are more comfortable getting shots at home, said Fletcher-Chairs, the nurse practitioner.
On her recent home visit, it was easy for Fletcher-Chairs to see how hard it was for the mom just to keep up with her house, much less get alone time for an appointment.
"I am a
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