With coronavirus cases surging in some areas of the United States and slowing in others, many people remain hesitant to venture out to a doctor’s office for routine care. Though medical offices make great efforts to prevent the spread of germs, it can still be stressful to accept a perceived risk of infection.
Depending on your state, there may be a solution. An app called Heal is offering an alternative to walk-in visits, connecting patients with physicians who are willing to visit the patient’s home and assess them for a variety of ailments, from suspected symptoms of coronavirus to standard-issue care for respiratory infections, muscle injuries, or ongoing conditions like high blood pressure.
Providers wear personal protective equipment, and medical instruments are sanitized between visits. Patients can meet with them outdoors in a private area such as a backyard to discuss symptoms, get evaluated, and receive treatment. A certified medical assistant accompanies the physician.
Major insurance providers like Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Medicare cover most house calls. If patients don’t have insurance, Heal charges $159 for a visit, though third-party costs for lab work, imaging, or prescriptions are not included. They also have the option of scheduling a telemedicine consultation for $79.
Heal is currently available in California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C. Users can schedule appointments from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays. The company, which was founded in 2014, reportedly made 100,000 house calls in 2019. You can find more information on the Heal website.