RICHARDSON, TEXAS—Doctor Jerry Morris and nurse Debbie Rice are making the rounds. On New Years Eve they're at the home of former NFL great Steve Smith who eight years ago was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS. The fullback who blocked for Raider running backs like Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson is now confined to a bed and ventilator. Steve had noticed pain in leg so a technician came by to make sure there wasn't a clot. His wife Chie who used to cheer Steve on as a Raiderette says the service is a live saver and time saver.
"Just a simple service that took ten minutes would have been a whole day affair for us to get him packed and ready, get him up, get him to the hospital, who knows how long it would have taken to stay there." Says Chie.
Dr. Morris says a federal study revealed that certain house calls can save money because patients make fewer trips to the hospital or emergency room.
"It provides a huge benefit for these people, they don't get exposed to the long waits and the emergency rooms or the doctors offices, they don't have the physical hassle of getting there and coming back and they aren't exposed to all the diseases you in into there with all of the other acute injuries, especially this time of year with the flu." Says Dr. Morris.
Dr. Morris says doctors who make house calls also spend more time with the patient. Robbed of his voice, Steve uses a vision and thought guided computer to express his thoughts. The computerized voice told us what Steve thinks about the rebirth of house calls.
"It is a lot less stressful for my wife which means it's a lot less stressful for everybody. It's a lot less expensive for our family as well as being more convenient. I just want to say thank you to whoever thought of the patient for a change."