OC 'concierge doctor' making individual house calls to test for COVID-19 amid coronavirus pandemic

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Thursday, April 2, 2020
OC 'concierge doctor' makes house calls to test for COVID-19
"CONCIERGE DOCTOR": This doctor will come to your house to test for coronavirus as she takes on COVID-19 one house call at a time.

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif. (KABC) -- Corona Del Mar "concierge doctor" Dr. Iman Bar is taking on the novel coronavirus through testing one house call at a time.

"I have done it where I go out to the front of their house, if it's a garden or a yard, it's safer even, if they're not too sick and I see them outside and it's fresh air and everything," said Bar. "But I've seen sick patients, which then I had to go in and that's why just everything, my whole equipment, everything I have to sanitize it again and again and again."

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Right now she's doing four to five tests a day, but she hopes to do more as the need rises.

"My car is my clinic so everything is sprayed in there. My trunk is my little office right now. I have the biohazard bag, I have the stuff that I'm gonna take in a zip-lock, I spray it with alcohol, I'm washing my hands. I come back and take a shower then go out again," she said.

That means more personal protective equipment than usual, which as we know is hard to come by.

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The need for ventilators has dominated the conversation about coronavirus and much of the focus has been on people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD. But doctors say there's another group that might be even more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"Even trying to go to other vendors, but I have to buy 10,000 gowns, 10,000 masks, which I can't. And of course they're more expensive than usual," said Bar, who has taken one day off in the last two and a half weeks, trying to stay healthy herself while serving one of the hardest hit areas in Orange County, Newport Beach. She's even started a YouTube page to help educate.

"I can help all my patients in my community as much as I can. As long as I have the energy, I'll do it, everyday," she said. "Not everyone is comfortable with it, but I think, that's how I wanted to serve really and hopefully I make a difference."

Of course with a house call, you're paying for convenience. Dr. Bar normally costs $400 per visit, but during the pandemic, she's lowered it to $260. As for the testing and lab work, she says that can be paid by insurance.

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