Registration and Appointments
1. Who is eligible to receive an in-home medical care visit from Doctors Making Housecalls (DMHC)?
DMHC serves patients ages 3 to 103 – with ailments ranging from the simple to the complex – in 400 communities across The Carolinas. We have particular expertise in providing medical care to individuals with complicated, chronic health conditions as well as specialized geriatric care to frail, elderly patients. Our patient population includes those who are unable or too sick to travel to the doctor, patients who live in rural areas, patients wishing to avoid crowded, conventional waiting rooms, and travelers to North Carolina and Upstate and Lowcountry South Carolina. Additionally, we provide continuing care to residents in more than 400 assisted- or independent-living and CCRC communities across the state.
2. Where can a DMHC primary care clinician see my loved one?
Wherever they are! DMHC clinicians are in 400 communities across The Carolinas, and we visit patients living in private homes, assisted and independent resident communities, in corporate office settings and in travelers’ hotel rooms. Please call our office (919) 932-5700 if you need further clarification on locations or visit our Clinicians page to see the communities we service.
3. How do I register my loved one as a new patient?
All new patients must register and authorize us to treat them before making an appointment and receiving a house call. There are three convenient ways to register:
1. Call Our Office: Register by calling our office and speaking with our new patient registration team.To expedite the process, please have your insurance information handy when you call.
Toll-Free (844) 932-5700 or (919) 932-5700 and then press 2.
2. Register Online: Register by clicking the Online Registration link and filling out the online form which, when complete, can be sent electronically, securely and directly to our office.
3. E-mail, Fax, or USPS/”Snail” Mail: Click the Registration Form link, and the ABN & Authorization link, complete both forms, and email, fax, or mail them to our office. The email for our new patient registration team is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the new patient registration fax numbers is 919-724-4951.
4. Do you accept new Medicare patients?
Yes! We are taking new Medicare patients.
5. How long will it take to schedule our first in-home medical care visit?
We offer same day or next day appointments, seven days a week, for acute or urgent medical problems. For routine or preventive services, such as an annual physical, we can generally schedule an appointment within a few days.
DMHC does NOT provide Emergency Services – if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.
6. What are the appointment hours?
We can schedule appointments between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:30 pm. But we also offer urgent care, and evening and weekend appointments when necessary. One of our goals is to accommodate the lifestyle and time constraints of busy people, particularly caregivers who may be arranging appointments around work schedules.
7. What if we need a visit after hours, on the weekend, or on a holiday?
We do not routinely schedule after-hours or weekend visits, but a clinician is available by phone or in person for Urgent Care needs 24/7. Clinicians take turns managing weekend phone calls so our patients, their caregivers or family members always have access to a DMHC provider.
8. Do you offer Emergency Services?
DMHC does NOT provide Emergency Services – For true medical emergencies, call 9-1-1.
We provide urgent care services but if we believe you have a life-threatening medical emergency, we will refer you to the emergency department of your local hospital, or the hospital of your choice.
If, when you call us for a visit, we cannot determine over the phone whether your problem is a true medical emergency or not, we may arrange for an urgent visit by one of our physicians. They will evaluate the problem and make the decision. Often, our highest and best contribution is helping patients avoid unnecessary trips to the ER. However, if the problem is a true emergency we make sure patients get there promptly.
9. What services do you offer?
The Doctors Making Housecalls mission is to provide care that is proactive, patient-centered and prevention-oriented. We see patients often and in detail, and respond promptly to urgent care needs. Our goal is to provide care that keeps patients, particularly our seniors, on an even keel – reducing unnecessary ER visits, hospitalizations, and 30-day readmissions.
Many of the medical services you expect from a traditional office-based medical clinic can be performed in-home or on-site by our specially trained clinicians. These services include comprehensive physical examinations, Medicare annual wellness visits, comprehensive geriatric assessments, medication prescription and management, diagnostic testing (such as EKGs, x-rays, and ultrasounds), blood work and lab testing, chronic disease evaluation and management, immunizations, diabetic and vision screening, wound care and more.
The DMHC team also provides complete care coordination, working with patients, their families and their insurance companies to coordinate with specialists, any necessary offsite testing, home care services, and medical device and equipment delivery.
DMHC does NOT provide Emergency Services – if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
For further information about our services, please visit our About Us page.
10. What if my loved one needs Lab work, X-Rays or other testing?
Our physicians will order lab tests, x-rays, EKGs, and whatever ancillary services or procedures that may be required to fully evaluate any medical problem — and you almost never have to leave your home or office for these to be done!
There are no trip fees for ancillary services. The charge for these tests and procedures, if any, are the same as you or your insurance would pay at a brick and mortar practice. We send phlebotomists to draw your blood in your home or place of business, whichever you prefer. They transport the specimen to our local reference lab, which runs the tests your clinician ordered. The results are reported directly into your medical record electronically – promptly and securely. There is no trip fee for this service.
We also arrange for all x-ray studies to be done right in your home or place of business, again, no trip fee required. Imaging studies that require large, fixed equipment, like CT scans or MRIs, must be done at a nearby imaging center or hospital outpatient department. We can get test and procedure results almost immediately if required.
11. What if my loved one needs to see a specialist or their DMHC clinician recommends home health services?
The DMHC Clinical Team provides complete care coordination, working with patients, family members, and their insurance companies to coordinate with specialists, offsite testing, home care services, and any necessary medical device or equipment delivery.
12. Will our DMHC clinician become my loved one’s primary care doctor?
Yes. When you apply to be a DMHC patient we ask that you sign a release stating that our clinician will take over as your primary care practitioner. This release also allows us to access any medical records from previous providers.
13. Can we see the same physician every time?
Yes. We schedule the same physician for each visit unless the physician is out of town and you need to be seen on an urgent basis. In that case, we will arrange for you to be seen by another of our outstanding physicians, who will have the benefit of your complete medical record at his or her fingertips.
14. Will my loved one’s provider visits be scheduled regularly or on an as-needed basis?
On average, patients are visited about once a month. Patients may be seen more or less frequently based on their individual needs.
15. How do I contact our DMHC clinician if I have a medical question about my loved one?
Because our clinicians spend all day out in the field seeing patients, the best way to contact them with a medical question is to call our office at (919) 932-5700 or Toll-Free at (844) 932-5700, and ask to speak to your clinician’s Clinical Organizer. Our Clinical Organizers are in contact with the providers throughout the day and will be able to make sure they receive your message. Alternatively, you may access our staff directory and send an email directly to your clinician. Again, because our clinicians spend most of the day in the field, be advised those emails may not be immediately returned.
16. Can my loved one keep DMHC as their primary care provider if they are receiving hospice care?
Yes, and many of our clinicians also have specialized training in hospice and palliative care. Our goal is to provide patients with a seamless transition into hospice services, should they become necessary. Your DMHC provider will continue to coordinate with your hospice care team, enabling you to have an aware, pain-free life, while living each day to the fullest extent possible.
Insurance and Payment
17. What types of insurance does Doctors Making Housecalls accept?
a. Medicare (including Medicare Advantage plans)
c. Secondary link (Medigap type) insurance
d. All Private Insurance (with the exception of Duke Select)
DMHC will also bill and file all of your insurance claims. Please see our Insurance section for additional information on coverage.
18. Do you accept all Medicare Insurance Plans?
We accept “traditional” Medicare and all Medicare Advantage Plans, as well as Medicaid and Tricare. Not only do we accept Medicare, we also “take assignment” which means Medicare beneficiaries do not pay at the time of service and don’t have to file any paperwork. We bill Medicare directly and accept their payment, which is 80% of the “allowable” charge. The 80% rate is the same whether the visit takes place in an office setting, home or business.
The remaining 20% of the allowable charge is “patient responsibility.” Most of our patients have “supplemental” insurance (also called “secondary” or “Medigap” coverage) which pays some or all of the 20%. It may also have a deductible which is the patient responsibility. DMHC also bills all secondary insurance plans directly. Please see the insurance section of this website for additional details.
19. Can we use a secondary insurance policy to cover what primary insurance does not cover?
Yes, DMHC will automatically bill secondary insurance for any charges that are not covered by a patient’s primary insurance.
20. Will Private/Commercial Insurance reimburse DMHC Charges? What is the “trip fee”?
Yes, private and commercial insurers reimburse DMHC’s charges just like they would an office-based practice, except for our “trip fee.” When our physician visits you in a private home, there is an additional trip fee of $105 that is not covered by your insurance. This is because insurers consider it a charge for convenience and, therefore, not medically necessary. Please visit the insurance section of this website for additional details.
Our trip fee is really just another type of copay, comparable to the higher copay you incur when you go to an urgent care center or emergency room, or visit certain specialists.
In Senior Living Communities, our physicians are able to see several patients at each community on our regularly-scheduled visit days, and we waive our trip fee for those visits. In the rare instance that we have to make an urgent care visit on a non-scheduled day at the community, we charge a “trip fee” of $105 on weekdays or $130 on weekends. This only occurs when the patient has an urgent problem that must be evaluated promptly and we can’t manage the problem effectively by phone. If we can reasonably and safely manage the problem over the phone, we will.
We also offer patient care in our office, conveniently located in Durham, North Carolina. There is, of course, no trip fee when you see our physicians in our traditional office setting.
21. How Do We Pay For Your Service?
It depends on your insurance. Please see above and the Insurance section of our website for more details.
For the portion of our fees which are a patient’s responsibility, such as deductibles and co-pays, we ask for payment by credit or debit card, both for your convenience and the safety of our physicians. We do not permit our physicians to carry payment in the form of cash or checks with them or to process credit card payments.
We are happy to take the payment information needed to process your credit card at the time of registration, or when you call for an appointment. For convenience, we can store that information in our secure database, or you may process payment yourself through our secure website portal.
DMHC accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We can also accept payments by debit card or PayPal.