I was pretty shocked to learn that 25% of people with CFS and ME are bedridden or homebound. I don’t know why I was so shocked, since I have been homebound for many years, and mostly bedridden for some of them.
Medicare and Medicaid will both pay for home doctor visits. I do not know about other insurance companies. Of course, finding a doctor who will actually come to your home is another story. Here are some ideas:
🌹 Home Doctor Services
Some programs or businesses offer home visits and will bill Medicare or Medicaid. You may be able to find them by looking online. Here’s a few I found by googling words like: “Home doctor visits” and “homebound” and “doctor” or and the names of different cities and states:
- New York doctors
- New York dental
- New Mexico dental
- Portland Oregon
- Florida, Illionois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
- Northern Virginia
- More Northern Virginia.
- Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio
- San Franciso and LA Dentists (warning: Expensive!)
Telehealth or telemedicine is healthcare available online or over the phone. I do not know a lot about these services and would love to hear from anyone who has used them. Please comment below. Here is a map from the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center. For mental health, you might try contacting public mental health agencies in your area and see if they offer this service. In certain situations, telehealth may be covered by insurance. There are also many websites that offer consultations with doctors for a fee.
🌹 Palliative Care
You can try calling hospice programs and palliative care programs in your area to see if they can arrange anything or if they know of local doctors that offer this service.
🌹 Visiting Nurse, Personal Aide & Physical Therapist (Medicare)
Medicare may provide assistance in your home from a part-time nurse, personal aide, and (if needed) physical therapist. To qualify, you must be have these two things: One: You must be homebound (leaving the house is difficult and infrequent). Two: You must have a medical need for a licensed nurse (for example, if you need injections or you have a wound that needs dressing). Learn more here and find an agency here.
🌹 Visiting Nurse (Medicaid)
Medicaid may provide part-time visits from nurse in your home. To qualify you must be on Medicaid, and your doctor must order the service. To find out more, talk to your doctor and contact home care agencies in your area.
The Veteran’s Administration offers a wide variety of home-based services including telecare, palliative care, primary care at home, and many other services.
🌹 Mental Health
Some waiver programs and home care programs offer mental health support in the home. Learn more.
Some people have had success finding a doctor by simply calling or writing local doctors until they found one willing to do a home visit.
If you are applying for disability, or if you are already on disability, Social Security will be looking to see that you are having regular doctor visits. If all else fails and you are completely unable to get to a doctor, they may accept this as a reason. It will help if you keep documentation of everywhere you contacted and what the response was to show that you are trying to get medical care, but could not access it. Learn more about explaining why you haven’t been to a doctor.
🌹 Other Services
There are many other programs that offer services for people who are homebound or have difficulty leaving their house: How To Be Homebound
Updated April 2017. I would love to expand this list. Has you had home doctor visits? How did you find the doctor and how did the visit go? Please share your story below.