The VA Makes House Calls


Written by Neil Lichtman – 100% Disabled Vietnam Combat Veteran & Founding Director of
Know A Vet? 

I’m old enough to remember when doctors would come to the house with their little black bags when you called them. That was before HMO’s and insurance companies got involved and before clinics. 

I hope none of you are as messed up as I currently am, with an Agent Orange cancer, heart failure, diabetes, and other issues.  

However, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be able to tell you that for people like me there is an alternative to constantly going to the clinic or hospital, and it’s called Home Based Primary Care.  

I’m not sure if it’s available all over the country or just in the Palo Alto area where I’m at.  I could not get a call back as of the time of this writing.  If you are outside the Palo Alto area it is worth asking your Primary Care Provider, if it is available. 

One of the reasons I have been concerned with going to the clinics all the time is that with Chemotherapy I simply have no immune system, so traveling with others is “iffy”.   And with my heart failure, I can’t drive anymore. 

Home Based Primary Care uses a team approach where your primary care provider comes to your house, once every month to six weeks. I’ve also had a physical therapist and an occupational therapist, as well as a home health care aide.  They also had an extremely helpful nutritionist and psychologist, all coming to Me!  

They have had 5 handrails installed for me, at no cost and I have a walker and am about to get an electric scooter, so I can go shopping and to restaurants instead of being confined to the house.  Not my old life but a big step forward. 

And even though I still go to the hospital for infusions every four weeks I no longer even have to go early for blood tests because my PCP draws the blood in my house and gets it to the lab for me. 

The entire staff is remarkably responsive to phone calls, which I found very refreshing as opposed to trying to get messages to my old PCP via the switchboard. 

Just wanted to let you know that if you’re in need, The VA can actually go beyond what we all think they do. 


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