Call (888) 310-0376 For a Quote

Is UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls Program Legitimate?

Believe it – UnitedHealthcare is now offering HouseCalls program to some Advantage Plan membersSkeptical of UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls Program

A friend of mine’s mother was called by someone claiming to represent her Medicare Advantage Plan through UnitedHealthcare. She was a little skeptical and thought she was being scammed. But after  some research she decided to go through with it. And she was glad she did.

If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan through UnitedHealthcare don’t be surprised if you get a phone call offering an in-home visit from a qualified practitioner.

HouseCalls, an in-home health and wellness program is available for members who are enrolled in select Medicare Advantage Plans.

The stated purpose of the program is to support and complement your regular doctor’s care. Visits are conducted by a licensed practitioner.

Designed originally with chronically ill patients in mind, HouseCalls can cut down on emergency room visits by managing care more closely.

The real benefit to UnitedHealthcare is healthier members who require less unplanned care and ultimately lower costs.

Not all Medicare Advantage Plans make an attempt to have you participate in an in-home visit. Compare all Medicare Advantage Plans in your area to learn about all your available options.

What you can expect from an in-home visit

Not everyone enrolled in an Advantage plan through UnitedHealthcare will qualify for the program because it is only available through select plans.

If you have the HouseCalls benefit, your agent should give you an idea what to expect if you get a call. Here’s what’s included:

  • A health assessment including a health history, review of your medications and taking your vitals
  • You will be able to ask questions of the practitioner
  • You will receive a worksheet to share with your doctor
  • The practitioner will offer advice on questions to ask your doctor


How does the in-home health visit work?

If your plan includes the HouseCalls benefit and a practitioner is available in your area, you may bet a letter and phone call from UnitedHealthcare.

You will also generally get a reminder postcard or phone call prior to the visit.

If you do not feel comfortable having a licensed practitioner meet with you in your home, you can ask a friend or family member to be present. It’s also possible to meet at another mutually agreeable location.

If available, this service is just another benefit that you should take advantage of. It’s like getting a second opinion with out the hassle of driving to an unfamiliar doctor’s office. And the best part is that it’s free!

So if you get a phone call and a letter from UnitedHealthcare consider scheduling an appointment for your free house call.  You may be glad you did.

 

 

81 comments

  1. Anything that has AARP connected to it, stinks of the
    obama admin’s attempt to use this Liberal org. to spy
    on American citizens.. I wish I could dump them, but they don’t have the guts to list any place on the internet to do just that.. Barry and his crowd, are destroying any trust
    we Americans, who fought and died for freedom, are being
    betrayed by the very people we intrusted our freedom to..
    It’s not gonna happen in my home for sure….

  2. WRONG !
    Need much more education on this topic.

  3. Hi Min, I’m not sure of the gist of your comment. A pronoun would help! Do you need more education on this topic or do I. If you feel that I do, please enlighten me.

  4. They harass me, calling 4x/day to set up this appointment, leaving messages that “it’s very important.” I have my wits about me so why is it so important United Healthcare come into my home, record my detailed medical history and preform an exam? With Obamacare cutting everyone, I doubt I’m getting something for free. Sounds like a reason to get into my life, find reasons to cut me off or snoop in my house for financial info and to see how patriotic I am. Seems to also undermine the doctors office I’ve used and love for years. I’m seen by a whole team, they’ve found issues that go way back so this, to me, is very very unnerving.

  5. Judy, Ask to have your name removed from their call list. By law, they have to honor your request.

  6. I was contacted before I received the mailing from the United Healthcare House Calls program. I would advise UHC to hire people who speak clear English. I am only 65, a nurse, and I had difficulty understanding them and then they called and cancelled and again difficulty with language. Also, I feel it unnecessary and not cost effective to send Nurses to do assessments unless it is requested. Our primary providers are always accessible when needed. To those who blame our President, I am happy to inform you that these assessments by insurance companies have been going on for years. Insurance companies do not wish to pay out and also it is a way to find out if someone has a pre-existing condition and other issues. I think it is an invasive thing and should only occur when requested by the insured.

  7. Renee, Like President Reagan said, “Just say no”.

  8. David; You state, “So if you get a phone call and a letter from UnitedHealthcare consider scheduling an appointment for your free house call. You may be glad you did.”

    When people comment about the “free” program you advise them to ask to be removed from the call list or to “just say no”.

    BUT — YOU are recommending that we, UHC Medicare Advantage subscribers allow UHC into our lives and more importantly MEDICAL HISTORY. My question is simple. If I see my doctor(s) on a regular on-going basis, insist that all specialists I see forward the results of those appointments and all associated test results to my primary care doctor, (who welcomes and reviews them) then why do I want to invite UHC to gather and put my private health related info into it’s vast information repository? Such action seems counter to my best interests.

  9. Howard, The point I was making is that I don’t believe it to be a bad program and have had feedback from people who found it to be beneficial. That said, my “just say no response” was directed at someone who didn’t think the program would add value and be counter to her best interests. Everyone should make their own decision about the United Healthcare house call program. And… like it or not as all medical records become digital information the illusion of privacy will be just that… illusion!

  10. I do not have this insurance but my parents do and they called me to set up an appointment for my parents…asking me to verify their address…the way the world is today who is going to verify anything over the phone…I told them I knew where my parents lived so they could tell me the address. He said because of HIPPA….then why are you calling me instead of my parents. Did not give them any information….they need to stop this…if people want them to come to their house let the person that has the insurance call them and set it up. What a waste of money when a questionnaire could be sent by mail or email. Yes I see your answer to all the comments….ask them to take you off call list but again…what a waste of money!!!

  11. I want to come at this from a different angle. My wife is a Nurse Practitioner in this program and she is one of the most caring loving individuals you will ever meet. She loves doing this because the one on one in their own home gives a comfort level to the patient that is not achieved in a clinical environment, thereby potentially revealing issues that otherwise may not be known. I hear her sometimes on the phone the night before with the next days appointments, speaking with them as if they are old friends. I know that when she leaves their home, they see the program for what it really is- someone from UHC that really cares about their well being. I understand the skepticism but in this case it is unwarranted. In Texas we shoot straight and I’m telling you this is the REAL deal.

  12. Chris, Thank you for your comment. It sounds as though for those that would like the in-home visit there are caring people willing to provide the service.

  13. Why do we need to have a nurse practitioner examine us? Your doctor should be more qualified Are we going to have an insurance company nurse practitioner direct our doctors. Is the company providing the service an actual part of UHC, or is a subcontracted company that will have your personal medical information in their data base only to be hacked at some later date?

    Nobody mentioned on top of asking you all kinds of medical questions, you probably have to sign a release of information form. Did you ever read these forms with all of the details in them and then some at the end state “This form may be updated in the future”. You are signing an open ended consent form. I think another reason is that the insurer wants the insured to use these nurse practitioners as a primary and eventually refer you to your doctor if they deem in necessary. It may be legit with UHC, but I think it is a big mistake to let anyone into your house to gather medical information and sign any documents. I know a lot of people will take the insurance company up on this and it will go to prove that the American Public is STUPID.
    Joe

  14. Joe, The service is not required and each individual should decide if it will add value. Blanket statements that the “American public is STUPID” makes your opinion less credible. If it’s not a good service for you, that’s understandable, but to label people who may find value in the service, stupid, is shortsighted.

  15. I am a Nurse Practitioner student and I have been working with a United Health Care Nurse Practitioner for 2 months, I think this program is awesome, we have seen members who really needed help. some have extremely high blood pressures ( and don’t know it because they feel fine) this can lead to stroke or heart attack also we screen for protein/glucose in the urine which can indicate kidney issues, or diabetes, some don’t have primary care doctors and have not seen a doctor for years although they have insurance. A full assessment is done and any gaps in care or services needed they really try to help in the long run these wellness exams may save the insurance company money but it is also a benefit to the patient to get adequate care ad prevention

  16. To: David Forbes….I just want to thank you for your comments and your efforts to try and enlighten some minds! I am close to 78 years old and feel this is a tremendous service, not to “invade” my privacy, but to make a better assessment of my health concerns. Perhaps some of these folks do NOT remember that we used to have our doctors visit IN our homes, and it was called, imagine this: HOUSE CALLS. I have nothing to hide, I also have nothing to fear! I do not feel I am being “spied on”, but do feel more cared for. The benefits far outweigh any negatives I’ve read here. Prevention and care such as this just could save lives! So, kudos to UHC, to Obama, and to me and those who prefer enlightenment as opposed to unfounded fears. Hell, I’m already in the ‘system’, as all are who have had any type of medical issue or concern. For your doctor to be able to pull up….quickly….your medical history is also potentially life saviing. And they do that now and have been doing it for years!

  17. David Forbes……..Who’s payroll are you on? UHC or Obama’s?

  18. Ron, That’s funny! I’m just shinning a bright light on those that are getting worked up in their paranoia when they could just say no to the program. Clearly some of the comments are from people who feel they are getting a benefit form the House Calls program. Your passive aggressive comment seems to signal that you would like to limit their freedom to use the program. If you feel that it is over-reaching… don’t use it!

  19. Chuck Mathison

    I have uhc and after today I am not sure what to think. my doctor claims that if I don’t go to the specialists which by the way cost $45 now and primary is just $10 that he is going to have to quit giving me certain medications I take for my lupus and neuropathy because of new insurance regulations and of course obama care! the only income I have to support myself and wife is $1000 month and that is to cover rent, utilities and everything else. we get a little bit of food stamps to cover our main meals but for most part we do with out breakfast and lunch because we cannot afford it. now they want to issue this mandate or else. cannot afford those co-pays and guess would have to do with out the medications. like I told my family when that happens and something happens to me sue the doctor and insurance company. but there is a no win situation right now and I am also diabetic. so they have you coming and going and saw where this program house calls would not serve me any purpose, why not use the money for this program for something more beneficial?

  20. Chuck Matison, I feel for your situation. Your PCP should have learned about your financial situation before now, or you should tell them now, or you should talk to the specialist. Most Dr’s I know have set aside a small number of “pro bono” slots per day. My dentist, near retirement, does many. You can also contact your city or county social services. If you live in a blue state, there are probably state funds available to offset your high co-pay.

    UHC is making oodles of money, there is no reason to worry about the costs of the HouseCall program. Like many things (quitting smoking, losing weight, wearing a seat belt) it pays for itself. Like David Forbes said, I do not need the program so I “just said no”. I have a couple chronic situations so I visit my PCP about every 6-8 weeks for a quick appt. I’m always getting BP, urine checked and blood drawn every 3-6 mths. And, my PCP could tell ME my medical history.

    But there are a lot of people my age that are healthy, or lazy, or sedentary, or confused, or shy and don’t go to the doctor even once a year. If this program helps one person in … say, twenty … from having a stroke, heart attack, passing out while driving, falling down the stairs, etc, UHC will save MILLIONS and MILLIONS of DOLLARS every year.

    They are super smart to offer this service, specifically for those that don’t get out to the doctor for whatever reason. Its nice that the visited patient stays healthy, but UHC’s incentive is to not pay that person’s huge hospital and nursing home bills if they neglect themselves.

    As for those of you going wicked crazy that the president or the ACA act is somehow the reason for this program, or that it justifies sending a spy into your home to rifle your desk to see financial documents, or that UHC is ‘on the take’ from the White House and sending your data to the Democratic National Committee, you all need to take a deep breath. Your illness is called “Obama Derangement Syndrome” (ODS) where you can see the president behind every bad event (rain at your picnic, spilling jelly on your white shirt), and even regular events that you restate as bad (getting a parking place, then deciding its his fault the spot isn’t closer to the door). They make drugs to help you cure your ODS, and therapy, and UHC will cover the treatment with only a small co-pay on your part.

  21. Ron, Very entertaining comment, although I’m sure that there are some people who who would find the illness in another group of people or individual. I think the key is for everyone to decide whether or not the House Calls program is for them and proceed appropriately.

  22. Is the House Calls program mandatory if you are qualified for it? I keep getting calls to schedule a House Calls appt. but I get all the treatment and advice I need from my doctor and I am not interested in House Calls.

  23. Terry- I know David will handle the response to this but I would like to make a couple of points. The program is strictly OPTIONAL. As we speak my wife, who is a very caring Nurse Practitioner, is visiting peoples homes to listen to their health concerns. She spends 45 minutes to an hour with each person. Compare that time, sitting comfortably in your own home talking to a professional about your health matters as opposed to 5 minutes in the exam room with the doctor flying in and out again. Please don’t misunderstand me, the doctors visit absolutely has it’s time and place. But what about smaller concerns that don’t warrant going through the process of scheduling, traveling and waiting at the doctors office? My wife has advised people on things to help them that they never would have thought of. I can guarantee that when she leaves each house, they are glad she came. Again, this program is OPTIONAL. But what’s the worst case? You have a visit with a health care professional and they find you are doing fine.

  24. Chris you make some good points. Thanks for the comment.

  25. Terry, It’s your choice to participate… or not.

  26. I understand the program. I understand that it is optional. I have talked with one of the reps who was very good at explaining the corporate coordination model UHC is using. I don’t have a coordination problem, have a great relationship with my physician and am very well informed about my health. What I would like to know is why I was selected and why UHC is still contacting me after asking them to leave me off their lists. Within a week of the HouseCall call, I got another call from someone with UHC who said they were ‘checking on me’ to see if my UHC coverage was working, if I had any questions, and who my primary physician was. Yesterday, my spouse who is in the same plan got a questionnaire from UHC. He didn’t get the ‘check in’ call and I didn’t get the questionnaire. WHAT is going on? Am I being profiled because of my diagnoses, age, gender, location, claims, etc.? Is my employer paying for all this overhead as part of their contract with UHC? I would rather they stick to the basics and/or do a better job of selecting targets for their attention. Any insight would be appreciated.

  27. Smith, I’m sorry that I don’t have any insights related to the unevenness of UHC’s methodology related to the HouseCalls program. One would think that asking to be taken off the call list would be enough. I’m guessing different departments within UHC are not coordinating their efforts or communicating very well.

  28. “Housecalls” has been calling me so often it has become badgering to me. The first time I told them I was opting out of that “benefit”. I am up and mobile, healthy and have my OWN primary doctor.
    I don’t WANT them to come to my home. I think they have ulterior motives that they do not tell you about. I believe they want to make their own “file” on you so that they can have more control over what YOUR doctor may feel you need, with regard to tests and/or procedures. Housecalls was owned by “Care Improvement Plus” and UHC purchased it from them in 2012. I don’t want a stranger coming into my home UNLESS I ASK them to. This is one way for them to get control over your health and it may not be to your best interests. I want them to STOP calling me, LEAVE me alone, and let me see my OWN DOCTOR when the need arises.

  29. David,

    We don’t need you to be a spokesperson for House Calls. We are mature enough to make the decision without your input.

  30. Linda, Sorry you took offense but… this website is like any other type of media… if you don’t like it just don’t read it!

  31. ADDED OPENING SENTENCES: I Absolutely love the way this forum doesn’t allow edits to one’s own post. Partially my fault – I wrote the first one hurriedly and didn’t double check it before pressing “post comment”. Please disregard my first post and read this corrected one and sorry to everyone that I typo’d so many spots. If I may I would also mention that they are gleaning one’s bio from other pages online (possibly it’s the type browser I’m using & I should have turned off cookies first?)

    The first scheduled NP cancelled on my own house call a month ago. A second one is coming today between a 3 hour space on the clock they gave me. I mainly opted to have the visit to show them that I have nothing to hide because quite honestly, I too believe it is a way to increase “big brother” spying. That’s not always a terrible thing but does feel intrusive in some senses. For one thing, the urine test they list that will be taken says nothing about protein/glucose – at least on my card sent by mail it doesn’t, nor did they say this on the scheduling phone call. It simply says a urine sample will be taken; they can then test it for everything/anything they want. To be honest, my belief is that they also want to test members in the plan for illegal drugs, although I could certainly be wrong about that (I haven’t taken illegal drugs since my teens or early 20s and am now in my 50s). For people under 62 or 65 – whenever old age social security begins, versus we who have legitimate medical issues that disabled us, this may also be a visit to offer opinion to the SSDI people. Again, I could be wrong about that – especially that particular. Even if I’m wrong about both, I must thrown-in with the person on this forum who earlier said to the effect that we’re letting NPs, double check our MDs, which seems a bit strange. This idea that more may be found simply because a person is in their home, would not be something I would agree with (no offense and respectfully). If many doctors do not also feel they are being spied on by this program, I would be very surprised.

    ADDED ENDING SENTENCES: I too received a phone call saying “it is very important that you call us about this”. I knew asking the rep point blank, that it is optional however, they may be hoping for responses from many people who are overlooking the optional aspect. Lastly, I’m not saying the program is sinister by any means but may prove to not be a good idea and has potential to cause strained relationships between patients and their doctors. If you want a “second opinion”, it should come from another doctor as qualified or more so than your own.

  32. Hey all,

    I just had my House Call visit and I have to recant what I said in my earlier post. First, the Nurse Practitioner was extremely professional. She was literally as good as any MD I have ever gone to, except that she spent far more time answering my questions and concerns. This IS NOT a bogus program designed to collect info from you on the sly or anything of the sort. It is legit in every sense and my being a participant patient, you have now heard it straight from the horse’s mouth so-to-speak. BTW: She strongly urged my getting eye tested because I am diabetic — something my doctor had yet to tell me. My belief was that I had to be older than in my 50s for this to be a concern but she said the importance is now, due to my having diabetic neuropathies. She also explained me what certain symptoms I was having related joints meant (e.g. type of muscles and joints involved and the names of the conditions).

    In short: It is a legitimate, highly professional program, with great people assigned to perform patient exams! (That’s my recant and I assure you it’s an honest one. – thanks all and I apologize to UHC for the unwarranted suspicions!)

  33. J. L-mac, Thanks for updating us on your experience. Ultimately it sound like you were pleased. But given the varied comments on this post I’m sure the debate about the program’s legitimacy will continue. I’ve never bought into the whole, “UHC is spying on me” theory. It’s much more likely a program to save them from paying excessive claims by being proactive. If their employees are providing the service they can control the cost of care to some degree.

  34. I think what you said hits the nail on the head. I personally also see their need to do this type thing because of how much costs have gone up for prescriptions and medical tests (a variant of same thing you said). If they can eliminate truly unneeded meds/tests, this saves them money and keeps their insurance overall, stronger. I know there will always be those who disagree but they need to look at it from UHC’s point of view — from within their shoes.

    I believe they are honest in the evaluations for patient’s health care because I was not recommended against any medications but was actually suggested one new one, plus it was recommended I get an MRI of my right shoulder and eye testing for diabetic eye neuropathy/glaucoma. These were the proofs for me that it is in fact a legit program. Thanks for your comment David.

  35. I just got a letter in the mail a couple of days ago from UHC telling me about this optional program that they are offering and so I thought I would check out their website to see if there was any more information on this program. I turned 65 this past April and had signed up for Medicare months before my birthday and also chose to go with AARP which had an affiliation with UHC. There are lots of options for people on Medicare as far as which other insurance company you need to supplement Medicare. So before I go any further it sounds like there are some of you that are very skeptical of this service which is optional with UHC and would suggest that perhaps you should check into another insurance carrier to supplement your Medicare if you think UHC is out to get you. In early 2008 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer of which was of a rare type as I had both the usual traditional cell as well as rarely seen in bladder cancer, small cell carcinoma which is the very aggressive cancer. My urologist told me that my odds were probably better winning the lottery than making a full recovery from this. He told me what was necessary to have a chance of beating the odds starting with some very potent chemo therapy and then surgery that would involve removing the complete bladder, the lymph node and the prostate as they may have been subjected to the cancer due to their close proximity to the bladder tumor. 6 years later I am cancer free and my oncologist said that I could consider myself a cancer survivor now. A little more than a year later after the cancer surgery I had lots of other complaints about things that were bothering me. I had already been taking anti depressants for 5 years as I had very bad depression plus anxiety attacks so was on medicine for that. I also had been fatigued for a number of years prior to the cancer as well as a frozen should on one side and a torn rotator cuff on the other. The doctor I was seeing at the time did several test and I had noticed my balance was getting worse all the time. So the PCP sent me to a neurologist who did a office exam and said that I just had a bit of a problem with my gait but nothing serious. He sent his findings to my PCP and at that time he told me that everything was in my head as there was nothing wrong with me. I got up and walked out of the office never to go back there. I found a new doctor that was very close to home and their was a lady internal physician that was taking new patients that I could see so signed on with her. After the last doctor I was reluctant to bring up any problems I might be having because after being told they were all in my head I figured these were too. Finally after nearly two years of seeing her I noticed my hands shaking from time to time so my next scheduled appointment with her I thought I better mention this. She then told me to walk down the hall and back and back into the exam room. She said she wanted me to see a neurologist that she recommended and finally got in to see him. After a number of different test in his office and doing the walk thing he told me that he was certain that I had Parkinson’s Disease but he wanted me to take a D a t scan which was the only scan that will actually identify PD in the brain. So after the D a t scan he said I had it for sure and started me on medicine for it. So after his diagnosis I started checking out symptoms of PD on line and realized that the only thing I didn’t have when I saw that other quack was the hand tremors. Also all the sights mention that symptoms can come in different orders and not all people have certain symptoms but still have PD. It just amazed me that the other neurologist who went to Columbia University school of Medicine in NY which is one of the top medical schools just blew me off with only a minor problem to my gait. Since there is no cure for PD and no medicine that can slow or stop the progression of the disease I guess being a quack didn’t set me back any but being told everything was in my head which actually it was, the loss of dopamine cells in the brain, but doctors can be wrong no matter what kind of fancy diploma they have. I have since found out too much of the PD medicine will cause me to have dyskinesia and at certain points your tolerance builds up to the medicine and all they can do is keep increasing it until you get to the point that if you want you can have deep brain surgery but I wont do that as they drill a hole into your brain and put a tiny pacemaker type device in their and bury the wires under your skin to a place in your chest that they install the rechargeable battery. No way. I found out that the only drug they have for Dyskinesia is Amantadine and I am allergic to that as I found out. I also have neuropathy in my legs and arms now too so I for one will take up UHC’s offer to join House Calls as I seem to be falling to pieces quite rapidly and that extra bit of care which is free might come in handy. My co pay to see my PCP is $15 every time I go and to see my neurologist, oncologist and urologist is $50 a whack. Like one gentleman wrote many comments back that his monthly monetary intake just barely covers his monthly bills and a small amount for food. My wife and I are in a very similar situation with a small food budget after all of our monthly expenses are paid. Also I take a number of different medications for different problems and my medicare which started on April 1, 2014 reached the doughnut hole on Sept 1, 2014 which meant that after 5 months not even a half of a year I get to the point where my pharmacy co pay really increases until the following Jan so I had to drop a couple that were over $200 a month and my Spiriva for copd was like $400 so for the past 3 months or so I have gone without the expensive ones that have not gone generic yet. I read where in something like 5 years they are suppose to do away with this dreaded doughnut hole but that may be too late for me. My point to all of this is House Calls is purely optional and you have the option every year at open enrollment time to change secondary insurance if you don’t trust UHC and also it does not have one thing to do with the ACA. People should do what is best for them and not take someone else’s word pro or con but investigate on the internet for any information regarding this option.

  36. Hi J.,

    I read your health story-struggles with interest. I have considerable health problems as well but not near as severe as yours. I’m age 52 and at 49 was approved for SSDI, which brought me Medicare 2 years later (the waiting period). My reason for applying for SSDI was not only due to my struggles working but also because I needed the help with medical bills. We had difficulty getting insurance for me, even several years ago when I had only part of the conditions I now have. I thank God – am thankful for Medicare as I know you are. As far as people researching about these type programs (UHC House Calls), I think that’s a great suggestion – in fact, I say the same in regard to checking doctor’s backgrounds, best possible before choosing one. They now have reviews sites for doctors, such as “HealthGrades” that can help with this.

    Regarding my own health conditions, I started with autoimmune thyroiditis of the hypothyroidism type (plus anxiety and depression that stems directly from the condition), fatty liver of the non alcoholic type, diabetes with diabetic neuropathies, mild COPD of the non-smokers type (yes, non-smokers do get the disease) and arthritis in many areas of my body, including my spine. I also have suffered chronic fatigue for years, with weakness in muscles that could be either neuropathy or myopathy. Heart palpitations of the skipping type, that I was formerly told by some doctors was anxiety-caused only (it does play a factor). Mitral Valve Prolapse with mild valve regurgitation (mild leakage from the valve) is actually the main cause of them in my case (now much improved, since being prescribed the right beta-blocker to diminish them).

    I have been to the very type of quack doctors you described (notice I state that in the plural). As I know you agree, the fact of quacks existing is contrasted by the fact that there are high quality and caring doctors out there. Not just those who entered the medical profession as a career-move but those who actually want to see their patients as well as possible and healed when possible. This forum, while not helping with the doctor choice, is a source people who have UHC insurance can read at to help them consider the optional House Calls program. A smart idea.

  37. UHC RN Case Manager

    I haven’t read all the comments here, but I just wanted to say that I work for UHC in a case management program, and I coordinate care with these physicians and NPs making house calls. The goal here is to keep our clients healthy and happy, ensuring that they have everything they need to stay healthy at home — so they can avoid hospitalizations, ER visits, and nursing homes. This saves everyone money, and in most cases, leads to a higher quality of life for our clients. We do care for you like our own family. Hope this helps.

  38. My 72 year old husband just got this House Calls letter after being forced to switch insurance programs through his state retirement job. I have done lots of medical research previously and my 92 year old Alzheimer’s mother has been getting monthly visits from a nurse practioner in a different Medicare Advantage Program.

    I wondered why she was in this program and in my research discovered this. Medicare Advantage Programs, which are run by private companies, unlike direct Medicare coverage, gets PAID monthly from the government per patient an amount related to HOW MANY HEALTH CONDITIONS you have, not according to your actual Dr. and medical bills. So these insurance companies make money according to how many new conditions they discover, thus the home visit.

    As an example I discovered in a news story, that a woman in Florida reported being depressed. As long as the condition exists for at least 2 weeks, it was reportable in her record and Medicare now would pay the Medicare Advantage Company an extra $570 PER MONTH, even if the woman was never even medicated!

    For those of you wanting to blame Obamacare, it is quite the opposite. It is private health insurance companies have found a way to cheat the system and take more of tax payers dollars. I believe it was under George W. Bush that Medicare Advantage came into existence, the thought being that private industry could run the health program more efficiently than the government! The opposite has occurred.

    By the way my husband is refusing the House Calls visit because he considers himself healthy, not because of this.

    I wonder what you all think of this system? Your were right to question the rationale for it, but it is not to spy but just to make more corporate profits. I do not believe people making the phone calls to you or the nurse practioners making the visits are aware of this. My mother’s visiting NP is a wonderful, caring woman.

  39. I did not like this! I had a skroke 2010 and I can drive and walk! I only have to see for speech therapy once a week-I do. The woman was here on 2/5/15 and she told me I have dementia???? Is she a doctor??? All of her other recommendations put it down on the paper in codes=how can I know what she is writing down??? NEVER AGAIN!!

  40. AND she had GPS and she could not find my place! Calls me 3x’s to find it! So=who has dementia??

  41. this house call program promised us a walmart gift card for comming out. that was dec. 17 2014. has anyone received one?

  42. They promised us a $25 gift card. Mom received hers but I still haven’t received mine. We bought did the exam one after the other. How do I check if they sent mine? It has been 3 days after mom got her $25 gift card. I hope it is not lost. If it was lost, can we request a replacement?

  43. I mean we (BOTH) did not we (Bought) did.

  44. I have received many calls and messages from UNC, today I finally talked to an individual. I do not feel I need a home visit so refused the option. I was wondering why the high pressure sales pitching. I figured they must be getting extra money from the government if they get people to sign up. According to Researcher in an above comment, they do. It may work good for some people and that is fine but mostly just another way to get more government money. IMO

  45. Today I got a call at work from house calls and they asked me to stay on hold until a representative was available . Who are they kidding. They called me. I am at work and I should wait on the phone until they can find time to talk to me? Absolutely not!

    It is hard to believe such arrogance. Clearly the purpose here is to save them money. I will not be accepting their phone calls in the future either.

  46. If you suspect that United Healthcare’s House Call program is a money making scheme, you are right! For a superficial physical exam you will be asked to complete a detailed health assessment, which goes into a UH database. On the basis of this information you will be given a health risk score that can increase Medicare reimbursements for those UH classifies as having health problems that requires additional monitoring. Other insurers have similar house call programs. It is a $3-billion windfall for the insurance industry with questionable health benefits. For more information go to http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/10/14880/home-where-money-medicare-advantage-plans.

  47. disabled younger person

    I think it would vary a lot how much value a person would find in such a service. I had one with my previous insurance.

    Because my primary care doctor is very thorough, I didn’t find it useful to add a new person that I had to relate my entire medical history to. I simply found it exhausting. Also, the other service said they wouldn’t even send the same nurse from year to year. I like my PCP and he is not going to miss the blindingly obvious types of things they ask about in this particular type of assessment.

    Now if they find a way to pay for my actual PCP to make home visits, or even an NP or PA who reports directly to him, then I will find that useful. Because it really is difficult for me to get out.

  48. Stan D: UHC loves the house call program because it pays them very well. Most seniors are quite well enough to get to their doctors alone or with limited assistance from friends and family. But before y’all start hollering at me, consider this:

    This 70 year old senior will help UHC concentrate on the seniors and disabled who really need the help by declining the UHC offers until or if they are needed.

    Cindy says:
    “Calls me 3x’s to find it! So= who has dementia??” – Cindy, on February 9, 2015 at 1:57 am
    Lord, I’d like to give you a hug for your great attitude – with the wife’s approval, of course.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

    Lee

  49. I just want to state that I received a message from them today so I went online to see what House Calls was. I DO NOT EVEN HAVE United Healthcare for my insurance or ever had it! So that is what I have an issue with. As an FYI, they are not the only Medicare Advantage Plan that has a program like this. I have had other companies for Medicare Advantage insurance and they have called me for the same thing. It is optional. I happen to be fortunate enough to know my medical history, treatment options, etc. The person that I spoke with even agreed that I did not need the service. But there are others that could really benefit from it. House Calls needs to get their records straight. If someone declines, take them off the list and only call members of a United Healthcare Plan. Thank you.

  50. I was told that nothing in life is free. On the surface house calls is free to you. I could be wrong, but uhc, sum mots a bill to Medicare for the house call, so they are reimbursed. The more people who use the service, the more uhc collects from Medicare, which is probably why they are so insistent that you take advantage of this service.
    Simon

  51. Reading about the paranoid responses about this service being evasive actually shows United should start a psychiatric service. The 1st mention of Obamacare should be the 1st clue as the Paranoid’s drift further and further into Fox News vertex of hell.

    It really doesn’t take too much brain power to figure out that service is a cost cutter. You’re seeing a Practitioner – short for doesn’t cost as much as a Dr. – perhaps your Dr. will tell you that just reject this service since they don’t want anybody interfering with the service they provide. Perfect say NO!!!!!

    Then go on your rant how Obama has started another program to interrogate your personal lives.

  52. Dave Janeway…..I totally agree!

  53. I LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER HOUSEcALLS VISIT. BUT WHEN I CALLED TO SCHEDUKE A VISIT THEY SAID I’D GET ONE SOMETIME WITHIN A 4 HOUR “window. But that won’t work for me because I go to physical therapy every weekday starting mid-morning — can I get a time-specific appointment.?

  54. I have tried to make my house calls appointment at least 10 times this year but they always say they have nothing available. But they have told me that if I don’t have a nurse pay a call by the deadline in January, 2016, I will not BE ELIGIBLE for their insurance next year. I will then have to go to medicare plan and pobably have to go to Parkland for any treatment. Since I have all the times that I called them, I can prove, also with reference numbers, that I did try to make an appointment. I don’t want to go to Parkland because they don’t treat you. They make you comfortable till you die. Sounds pscho I know but I have had friends who opted to go there and that is what happened to them. If I can’t get a house calls appointment, and they refuse to renew my insurance, I will be sending a copy of this note to the TEXAS STATE BOARD OF INSURANCE

  55. Someone please elaborate on what kind of physical takes place on these house calls… After reading these comments it ranges from a questionnaire about the status of someone’s health to being invasive.. Thanks all..

  56. I have had repeated HouseCalls solicitation phone calls to my home and cell phone. I am a healthy, active, 66 year old who sees her doctors regularly, takes her meds and is overall compliant. Fed up with the calls, and feeling somewhat harassed, I spoke with Customer Service today and they assured me my name is removed from all solicitations of any nature. For what reason does United Healthcare need to solicit in home nursing visits with all clients? They know from billings when clients are seeing their PCP’s and Specialists. What right do they have to step into one’s life, do examinations and gather information, and what do they do with this? Reading others comments, above, that UHC bills Medicaire for these visits and gathers detailed health history and information from clients, that then goes into a database, is disturbing.

  57. I wrote a note to you on November 12 at 9:41 am. Since then, I have cancelled your insurance and enrolled with an company. And my enrollment is confirmed.

  58. UHC engages in data collecting like all the other heal plans and in a sense more so with the advantage plans. UHC doesn’t need to do what your PCP already has done or has. Careful about letting an unknown into your home even though they “work” for your insurance company. Medicare pays big bucks to them to gather this information. It must be at a premium because they call at least once a week to try and get a plan member to let them into your home. They are not welcome at my house. My health history is between me and my PCP and no database or third party will be privy to it. These home visits will generate a lot of personal information that can be misused. They even go so far to see that your furniture is in the right place.

  59. Cristie, In a perfect world…. ” My health history is between me and my PCP and no database or third party will be privy to it.” Big data and micro management are the new normal. I don’t like it either.

  60. House Calls has a telemarketer mentality. They will call or send literature at least three times a week. They are “data gathering” all of your confidential information and put it in a database to use as they see fit. They go so far as to give you a $15 Walmart gift card for your trouble. This speaks volumes. House Calls will record your family history, social history, any meds you take, who lives in your home, house assessment, etc. This is a wealth of information that can be misused and is. They will go even further and make special arrangements if you can’t/won’t have them in the home. Your PCP has all the information that House Calls wants so this is a duplication of sorts and you sign your information away. It is a HIPPA violation. House Calls even states that it is a Medicare “mandate” that you have to go through. I called Medicare and what they try and sell is a lie. Your confidential information is turned into a “suvey/questionnaire” which cheapens it all the more. House Calls gets thousands of dollars ($800-$1999( per Medicare Advantage Plan members. This also speaks volumes. These visits are intrusive to say the least.

  61. I read your post and identify totally with what you’re saying. This House Calls feature came up overnight, and they hound you to death!! They’re calling my friend who has a Medicare Advantage plan. I consider it an insult to the members intelligence to force a service on people because they belong to an Advantage plan and are, therefore, more needy!! There should be a mutual agreement before something like this happens!! I think I will write to my congressman and senator ti complain about this discriminatory treatment since is treating its members like ignorant folks!!

  62. But, if folks have their name removed, would they be kicked out if the Advantage plan??!

  63. Received a call from Housecalls, very rude and mad that I did not want them at my home, offered to give me a $15.00 gift card for Walmart. I would not trust them

  64. Have received both a letter and a phone call regarding the HouseCalls program. I inquired several times during the phone conversation as to why this program existed for members who already get yearly physicals for Primary Care Physician., along with additional visits and treatments from Specialists ( Dentist / Eye Doctor / OBGYN / Cardiologist ). NEVER received any type of satisfactory answer ( probably because there were no notes on the telemarketers written dialog lage. Agree with earlier comment…House Calls has a telemarketer mentality

  65. My wife is an extremely competent and caring Nurse Practitioner and I asked her the other day if, after 1000 + home visits, she has ever had anyone complain and she said maybe one! She spends an hour in their home and helps them understand many things about their current medical conditions. She talks to them about their family, pets, etc. and leaves as a friend to most. So you are comparing that to a doctor spending 5 minutes with you in an office where he see’s 40 or 50 people a day????? Give me a break! I am sick of people bad mouthing something they no nothing about, especially when it is OPTIONAL!

  66. I’ve documented nearly 200 calls from Housecalls and I didn’t even start documenting them until I had received at least 100 calls. They called me virtually every single day and, at first, I told them I had no interest in their plan and to take me off their list but the calls kept coming. I even started receiving more than one call a day!

    I finally enrolled in a service that blocks known pest callers. I still get a call about once a day from Housecalls but it only rings once and hangs up on them. The service also rings and if the caller is on their list of crank callers, they pick up and then hang up.

    I am very tempted to file a lawsuit against Housecalls. I’m on the Federal no-call list so they are breaking the law and when they ignored my repeated requests to take me off their call list, they are committing a crime.

    I get a kick out of some of the posts here. They are obviously planted. Take the one that calls people paranoid and blasts Fox News. Anyone with any intelligence will recognize that most, if not all, of the positive posts here are planted and phony. No legitimate business would keep harrassing people by constantly calling them and refusing to take them off their call list not to mention that they shouldn’t be calling people on the federal no-call list in the first place. I’ve contacted my U.S. representative about this and he is well aware of what Housecalls is doing and it is an issue congress is dealing with now.

  67. They have hounded me to death with letters and phone calls about this. I have told them I am not interested but they won’t take no for an answer. I am a Registered nurse myself and well aware of when I need medical followup. I also am under frequent and regular care of nearly a half-dozen doctors due to cancer diagnosis and treatment last year. I just don’t need anyone else coming in and doing the same stuff the others do. Besides, all of this health info is on the internet and , as my health insurance company, I am sure they have access to what is there.

  68. Medicare Advantage plans cost the government more than regular Medicare plans. They get more money from the government because they list all the medical conditions that you have and get paid an extra monthly amount for EACH condition you have, even if you get no drugs or treatment for it. That is why they do HouseCalls, so they can document all those conditions and get more money from the government. I too have refused a visit from this knowing the real reason behind it!

  69. I am sure you are right. When I had regular Medicare along with BCBS 70/30 plan, I think Medicare and BCBS seemed to be taking care of a good deal of my care for cancer treatment. This year I switched to UHC Advantage plan and they seem to be paying very little of my medical care.

  70. All right everyone complaining about this House Calls with United Health Advantage Plan. I like it and have no problem. I enjoyed the house visit. Glad to know I get a visit once a year. So if you don’t like having this health care find another . How can you file for law suit when , they are doing their job to make sure your in good health. Find another health provider all I can say. Thanks United , keep up the good work.

  71. I had a house visit first nurse was late and slow but ok second one was asking me why I was taking pills wanted to switch me medications around I have a regular docter and a blood docter don’t tell me what I need to take I will never do this again I don’t need Zoloft or any depression med anxiety panic attacks not the same thing please let my docter make the decisions for me I have high blood pressure she asked me why I take pills sounds flakey.

  72. I have told my team of doctors about how UHC keeps calling and sending letters and emails about this Housecalls program. They said to tell them that I am well-cared for by all of them and don’t need that kind of intrusion into my life!

  73. They need to stop blowing up my phone. They should just send out a letter. If a person decides to respond they can. If not leave them alone. It is annoying to be constantly bothered by these incessant calls.

  74. If this doesn’t sound like a tactic right out of the KGB’s red book, I don’t know what does. We had someone call yesterday offering to come to the home to see about fitting us with a new walk-in bath tub which was promised to help with chronic pains. And after firmly rejecting that clear solicitation and reminding them that this is a no-solicitation home, the very next day we get this call. Coincidence? Perhaps. But some of us find coincidences a bit difficult to believe, as well as highly improbable. Furthermore, what precisely couldn’t be done over the phone here? Or at some specialist’s office here in town? Or through a response questionaire through the mail? UHC already has access to doctors files. This is either a snooping attempt or as others have mentioned above, a way to bilk Medicaire out of additional money.

  75. Lets try this again. My wife has been visiting people for 5 years now and EVERYONE (about 2000 people) enjoys the visit. She is the most loving caring person you will ever meet and to insinuate that the Nurse Practitioners are spies is beyond ridiculous. It is also ignorant and paranoid. She has helped people with things that would not have been done otherwise. She got home at 9pm last night just because she stayed and extra hour helping a couple understand some issues. If it had anything to do with spying or gathering information, other than health issues, my wife would be the last one that would ever do that. I have known her for 50 years and I am sure of that! If you don’t want to take part, OPT OUT! But don’t yap off about something you know nothing about not to mention demeaning a program that is helping people.

  76. William T. Burch Jr.

    I have received phone calls about your House Calls program from 6122608396 on January 26th, from 6124353763 on February 28th and March 6th, from 443492280 on March 7th and from 8666862501 today. None of these phone numbers are local to me. Some are from Minnesota, from Maryland, or from Florida. None are from customer service listed on the back of the Medicare card you issued to me or from the mailing I received from you from Elkridge Maryland most recently. In fact, reverse lookup thru Google on the 443492280 phone number indicates that it is generally regarded as a scam that seeks to steal protected health information in violation of Federal HIPAA regulations.
    Why all the different phone numbers? And why are none of them from anywhere near where I live? How can I trust you to keep my medical information confidential in light of the foregoing? And where is this nurse supposed to be coming from? I have had the same doctor as my principal physician now for 34 years and I now see him four times a year to treat and regulate my high blood pressure. I am scheduled for my third and final colonoscopy with a specialist next month and for an examination with a vascular surgeon in August. I really don’t think I need to schedule a home visit from your nurse in between all of that and so I am refusing your kind offer. I will call you if I change my mind or if one of the doctors I’m already seeing recommends that I do so, but I see no value in answering any further interstate phone calls from you from now on. Don’t call me. I’ll call you.

  77. William, I won’t be calling you. I am not affiliated with United Healthcare. This site is not owned by an insurance company. It does have an article about the United Healthcare House Calls program. I do however understand your frustration. You could contact your agent and opt out of the House calls program.

  78. Chris, Thanks. I know what you mean. My wife is a nurse practitioner and in the last couple of weeks she has had patients visit her in her clinic and announce (without any prompting) that they refuse to answer any questions about gun ownership. Funny. My wife doesn’t inquire about gun ownership. I do understand people’s frustration. I’m not sure that United Healthcare is adequately communicating with their members about the program when they enroll. I also think that there are scammers who misrepresent themselves as United Healthcare. They probably learned the tactics in the KGB’s red book….

  79. There are rules of thumb when dealing with phone calls — where you do well to distrust anyone who calls you or who cannot give you a direct number to call back. Furthermore, I don’t doubt that there are some home-bound elderly patients who would benefit with an in-home visit if they don’t get out much to see their doctors. But that’s the catch, now, isn’t it? ‘If they don’t get out much to see their doctors.’ UHC should be able to rather easily see that we are going to doctors usually at least once a month here for our issues. Yet the solicitation was made all the same. And quite frankly, the person who called was PUSHY.

    It’s also worth noting the comment above where someone explained how Medicare reimburses these healthcare gatekeepers. They reimburse for the ailment at a fixed amount per ailment. So UHC can pad their pockets with these home visits by maximizing the amount they receive from Medicare, without providing much if any additional CARE…

    This seems to be confirmed in the following:

    “Health plans can profit because Medicare pays them higher rates for sicker patients using a billing formula known as a “risk score.” So when a home visit unearths a medical condition, as it often does, health plans may be able to raise a person’s risk score [4] and collect thousands of dollars in added Medicare revenue over a year — even if they don’t incur any added expenses caring for that person. That’s been allowed under the billing rules.

    The home visits are the most visible segment of a burgeoning medical information and data analysis industry that is thriving behind the scenes, in some cases backed by formidable venture capital and other investment groups, including Google Ventures.

    The cottage industry is flourishing as federal officials struggle to prevent Medicare Advantage plans from overcharging the government by billions of dollars every year, a Center for Public Integrity investigation [5] has found.

    Medicare made nearly $70 billion in “improper” payments [6] to Medicare Advantage plans from 2008 through 2013, mostly overbillings based on inflated risk scores, according to government estimates.“

    https://www.publicintegrity.org/print/14880

  80. I heard that UHC receives more money from Medicare, the more diagnoses of problems/illness you have, and that is why they want to do Housecalls on everyone. If they can dig up more problems onyou, that boosts their coffers! I also heard that they even evaluate how safe your home is and note all of that as well, for an increase in their reimbursements from Medicare.

  81. Pestered relentlessly via home phone. Today they called my husband’s cell phone using an “unknown number.” We never answer such calls but my husband had just called a home store and was expecting a call back. He will be more careful next time. I agree they are using telemarketer techniques. We will not participate in this so they can get more money from Medicare. So many trolls on this site. Always “my wife is an employee!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*