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Highland Hospital Geriatric Physician Makes House Calls

Friday, September 23, 2005

Doctors visiting their patients at home was common in the early 20th century. Today, physicians from Highland Hospital’s Geriatrics and Medical Associates group are once again making regular house calls to patients.

Brain Heppard, M.D., a geriatric physician at Highland Hospital, is working toward having a dedicated practice for home visits. A home visit offers several advantages for patients, according to Heppard.

“I have some frail patients who would literally take several hours to get ready to come in for an office visit. Home visits are not only more convenient and less of a strain on patients, they offer me the opportunity to see how the patients live so I can observe what kind of physical limitations they may have,” Heppard said.

The program is for home-bound and frail geriatric patients who are on Medicare or are Medicare eligible.

Heppard began doing home visits on his own about two years ago. He is now seeing patients in their home once a week for scheduled visits and another one to two days a week for "acute" visits. He is planning on devoting three and a half days a week to home visits and with new facility coming on board, will have another physician available for acute home visits Monday through Friday.

Heppard’s practice is part of Highland Hospital’s comprehensive geriatric care, which ranked 15th in the nation for the care of the frail elderly, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 16th annual “America’s Best Hospitals” list.

For more than 115 years, Highland Hospital has provided innovative, high quality patient care for the Rochester community. Today, Highland is a 261-licensed acute care bed facility known for its comprehensive women’s services, nationally ranked geriatrics program, regional leading gastric bypass program, the Evarts Joint Center and extensive network of primary care physicians.

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