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Reviewed by Java Davis for Readers' Favorite
When I first decided to read/review this book, House Calls 101: The Only Book You'll Ever Need to Start Your Housecall Practice by Dr. Scharmaine Lawson-Baker NP, I thought that I would be reading about medical professionals who decide to go "off-grid" and deliver medical care outside the bounds of insurance companies and Medicare. I was surprised to find this to be a book directed at Nurse Practitioners who want to develop house call businesses within "the system."
In House Calls 101, Dr. Baker has gathered all the information one could possibly need to decide whether or not to consider such a launch. She explains the process of gathering a support team since it is impossible to achieve this goal alone. One needs to find a person to trade hours with for vacations and emergencies, a physician who will agree to sign off on any paperwork that requires a physician's signature, a cooperative pharmacist, an extraordinary bookkeeper or bookkeeping company, and possibly an office manager depending on how large the business is allowed to grow.
Complying with government regulations is paramount for the process of reimbursements. The regulations are quite strict and clearly defined, and the paperwork must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this patient required a home visit. One chapter of this book is devoted to descriptions of the requirements. There is a special discussion of the month of January, when clients must begin paying their insurance deductibles, and what to do when working with a poor population that will have trouble paying.
Dr. Baker doesn't just cover paperwork. She also discusses more work-a-day issues, like personal safety and dressing properly for clients. Dr. Baker is a cheerleader for House Calls. Her passion is evident when she talks about the rewards for both caregiver and care receiver. The Nurse Practitioner has the opportunity to really get to know clients on a more individual basis by seeing them in their home environments rather than in an office.
This book is short and well-organized, with some chapters only one paragraph in length. The information is current, but I don't know how often regulations are updated, or if the author will keep this guide up to date. If a Nurse Practitioner is deciding whether or not to start up a House Call business, he or she should read this book NOW.