Oh Baby: Pediatricians begin to make house calls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: Pediatricians begin to make house calls, spend more time

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- When you have a little one, trips to the doctor can be painful.

Either sitting with a sick one in the lobby, or with a well one around other sick children, or maybe your child is in a panic because the last visit required shots that they weren't so thrilled about.

But there's a growing trend that allows the option for parents to stay home and still get the care their child needs.

Like most children, Felipe Amzallag has seen the pediatrician multiple times in his first year of life.

"My pediatrician has seen Felipe for vaccinations, has seen him for emergency respiratory problems, mild colds," father Tristan Amzallag said.

But Tristan's pediatrician comes to him. That's right-his doc makes house calls, something Tristan says brings benefits beyond saving him a drive.

"The drawbacks of having to go to an office to see a pediatrician include the concern that other children are sick around my child, the concern the pediatrician isn't paying 100% attention to my child," he said.

Dr. Ed Kulich points out other advantages. He believes seeing a child in the home setting gives him a better understanding of conditions that might contribute to an illness or behavior issue.

"I can pick up developmental signs that might not be seen in an apprehensive child. I can also give parents sleep training which is very often overlooked because of the time constraints of a visit," Dr. Kulich said.

Pediatricians who make house calls are also referred to as concierge pediatricians.

It's a growing trend, with physicians popping up across the country providing services outside the office.

Dr. Russell Libby is the chair of Home Care for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He sees this trend evolving even more.

"Especially as we start taking care of more complex kids at home and as some physician practices may narrow down to a smaller number so that they can provide better care," Dr. Libby said.

"I wanted to devote lots of time to each individual patient. Instead of seeing 30, 40 a day, I could see three to four," Kulich said.

Dr. Kulich says children seem much more relaxed in the home-setting, too.

"They really respond very well to me being in their environment. They certainly don't have that kind of white coat phobia," Kulich said.

Parents may pay a higher price for the service and in many cases they will have to pay the fees up front, then be reimbursed by their insurance company.

Dr. Kulich points out the advantage, though, of being able to get care at home, around the clock.

"I do my best to be available to my patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Tristan's called on his doc for emergency visits before and highly recommends this style of service for others under even normal circumstances.

"Do it because there's no more secure feeling," Tristan said.

Online Anchor: Sunny Layne

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