House began his career as a respiratory therapist. He founded American Intermedical Resources (AIR, Inc.) in Birmingham in 1975, contracting with hospitals for respiratory services. After that business failed, he was hired by Richard Scrushy at HealthSouth in 1985.
In 1992 House pitched a physician practice management start-up to Scrushy and founded MedPartners with an initial investment of $1 million. He took the company public in 1995 and ushered it into the "Fortune 500" in 1996. House began negotiating the sale of the company to Nashville, Tennessee-based PhyCor in 1997. The merger was announced on October 29 of that year, but quickly fell apart when PhyCor uncovered major weaknesses in MedPartners' business practices. The company lost $821 million in 1997 and its stock price began to plummet in January 1998. House resigned that month before the board terminated him. Scrushy took his place as CEO and the company retooled as Caremark Rx in 2000.
House subsequently launched a venture capital firm called VentureHouse from his newly-built 37,000 square-foot mansion at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club. The construction of that residence, which was estimated to have cost $26 million, coincided with the debacle at MedPartners. House was left more than $8 million in liens and put the property up for auction in 2003.
- Elkind, Peter (June 21, 1999) "Vulgarians at the Gate How ego, greed, and envy turned MedPartners from a hot stock into a Wall Street fiasco" Fortune
- Fabrikant, Geraldine (April 2, 2003) "Former Chief's Protégé Puts His Estate on the Block" The New York Times
- Archibald, John (February 21, 2014) "Want to know more about the $14 million House house?" The Birmingham News (reprint of article first published April 4, 2003)