House calls used to be normal practice, but in the late 20th century, health care became concentrated in clinics and hospitals.
Now, house calls are making a comeback--and many of the tests are the same. But the classic black bag has been replaced with a laptop computer.
"There's no substitute for the house call. You get a great insight into your patients, into their lives, how they live, where they keep their medications," Dr. Andrew Lyons, with Lenox Hill Hospital, said.
In many cases, house calls are covered by Medicare. It's expected that demand for them will only increase as our population ages. Modern technology now allows doctors to take the hospital to the patient. EKGs, blood tests, even some x-rays can be done in the home.
Some doctors say that with no office overhead, house calls bring down health care costs and allow doctors to spend more time with each patient.