Salt Lake City, Utah (Intermountain Health) — The Castell House Calls program is a temporary service that assists vulnerable patients who are homebound and have mobility or transportation challenges along with chronic health conditions.
Patients are referred to Castell House Calls through people in the medical community such as, their primary care or emergency room provider, hospital staff or a case manager with their insurance company.
Intermountain Health’s insurance company, Select Health, helped create the house calls program.
“We can bring health care to them in their home and help them navigate the healthcare system to give them better medical care and improved quality of life,” said Gayle Mortensen, APRN, an internal medicine nurse practitioner who makes house calls with Castell Health, the population health subsidiary of Intermountain Health.
“The goal of Castell House Calls is to help patients improve their health and decrease the number of their emergency room visits and the time they spend in the hospital as a patient. And when those goals are met, it can help reduce health care costs,” said Mortensen.
Intermountain Health recognizes that a portion of the population is not able to access medical care. Castell House Calls bridges the gap to get medical care to the part of the population that needs this.
“You learn so much more about a patient in their home environment. It’s less formal. You get to know your patients very well. You develop a trust level with them. I meet amazing people and every day is different. When we can visit patients in their home, it helps reduces their anxiety, about getting out of their house to appointments or the hospital,” said Mortensen.
According to Mortensen, the house calls program has helped decrease emergency room utilization by about 8-12%, which is significant.The Castell House calls program has reduced overall medical expenses by 13% for 2022.
In addition to the nurse practitioners, there are case managers, care guides/medical assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants and doctors that help with all the challenges our homebound patients face.
The Castell House Calls service was first piloted in the St. George area in December 2019. The service has been expanded to serve patients in parts of seven Utah counties from Brigham City to St. George.
About 1,000 patients have been served by Castell House calls to date. Currently, there are more than 400 patients receiving Castell House Calls.
*Sponsored by Intermountain Health