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Upstate University Hospital physicians bring back the ‘house call’

Upstate at Home will send a doctor to your residence as an option for individuals who may want medical care in the comfort of their home.

The service is being provided by Christian Knutsen, MD, a board certified physician in emergency medicine who works in Upstate’s Emergency Department and who also serves as an EMS physician working with medics and paramedics. Nurse practitioners may also be dispatched in response to a call.

“There is a level of care that may not require the full complement of an Emergency Department, and the patient may desire to be treated at home for comfort and convenience,” Knutsen said.  “That’s what this program offers.”

The house call was more common decades ago, when doctors—carrying the ubiquitous doctor bag—stopped in to see sick families.

“It’s a throwback to an era when doctors had more time to spend with their patients, to get to know their patients and their families,” Knutsen said.

Knutsen said the program will not replace a patient’s primary care provider, as that is the best place to seek medical attention to preserve the continuity of care. “But we understand that primary care providers aren’t always available, especially when someone needs medical attention, or in the case of when someone is without a primary care provider,” he said.

Upstate at Home will treat a variety of symptoms from coughs and colds, to fever, flu, sore throat, ear infections, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cuts abrasion and other minor to mild conditions that don’t required specialized, intensive care.

Upstate at Home will be available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is offered currently in the eastern suburbs: Dewitt, Fayetteville, Minoa, Manlius and the villages of Cazenovia, Chittenango and Kirkville. The service area may grow depending on demand for the service.

As for paying for medical care at home, Upstate at Home participates with most major insurance companies, with actual costs depending on one’s co-payment or deductible.

To reach Upstate at Home, individuals should call 464-4646.  A call center nurse will triage the call and and make the appointment. If the individual’s illness or symptoms require a trip to the Emergency Department, the nurse will refer the caller to 9-1-1.

Caption: Christian Knutsen, MD, a board certified physician in emergency medicine who works in Upstate’s Emergency Department, is providing the Upstate at Home service.

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