ChenMed enhances social justice for underserved communities
MIAMI, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- ChenMed, the nation's leading senior-focused primary care practice, today announced that doors are opening on 15 new Dedicated Senior Medical Centers during the next 20 weeks, advancing the company's 35-year tradition of transforming care of the neediest populations.
This 25.7% expansion of ChenMed practices located in underserved communities means tens of thousands of low-income seniors in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Memphis, Orlando, Philadelphia and St. Louis will, at convenient and beautiful locations in their neighborhoods, be able to start accessing highly personalized primary care that delivers better health.
"Our commitment to underserved communities has never been stronger," explains Christopher Chen, M.D. ChenMed CEO. "Given recent events and the calls for more social and racial justice, there couldn't be a better time to be approaching 80 primary care centers in 10 states. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unwavering in our intention to continue to deliver on our mission by giving underserved seniors the same concierge care that is available to Americans with greater financial means."
Dr. Chen adds: "Our doctors fulfill their purpose by being totally accountable for helping their patients achieve better health. Plus, ChenMed centers offer services that help reduce barriers to healthy living, from transportation assistance to on-site medications to helping with social services."
Three new Dedicated centers in St. Louis, and a new, fifth Dedicated center in Philadelphia will start seeing patients July 1, 2020. Then, in rapid succession, Dedicated will open doors on the first of three new Cleveland centers July 20; the first of three new Cincinnati centers August 31; the first of three new Memphis centers, plus the first of two Orlando centers September 28. All 15 new Dedicated centers are expected to be seeing patients by November 9.
Unlike many fee-for-service healthcare providers that were slow to adapt approach to care as they became aware of the coronavirus pandemic, ChenMed, as a global-risk provider of choice for more than 20 Medicare Advantage health plans, has remained flexible, fast, and focused in helping protect both patients and employees from COVID-19 risks:
- Flexible ... ChenMed established a coronavirus task force and decided to shift patient care focus to helping at-risk seniors stay healthy, happy and home. In Jan. 2020, ChenMed moved all data, including access to its proprietary EHR system, to the secured cloud. This enables thousands of employees, including all doctors and care team members, to effectively work remotely.
- Fast ... Weeks before most communities initiated formal shelter-at-home orders, ChenMed successfully pivoted from 98% in-center patient appointments to 95% virtual appointments in just one week – all while keeping medical centers open so patients in need of urgent in-person care had an option beyond the emergency room. Then, as patient needs for safe in-person primary care visits rose over time, ChenMed adapted again.
- Focused ... ChenMed primary care doctors intentionally have the industry's smallest patient panels and are financially rewarded for delivering VIP service and better health outcomes. They see patients virtually or in-person as often as needed, and they do whatever it takes to help their patients thrive.
The ethnically diverse, low-income, and generally frail seniors ChenMed serves benefit greatly from the practice's proven ability to pivot whenever needed to improve both quality of care and patient experience. For years, ChenMed primary care physicians have been giving their cell phone numbers to patients asking them to text or call whenever a health concern arises.
Plus, ChenMed doctors and care team members consistently encourage same-day in-person appointments whenever needed at convenient neighborhood locations. The Chen, Dedicated, and JenCare Senior Medical Centers offer door-to-doctor transportation. They also find ways to stay open -- as safe, secure and welcoming care environments -- even when communities are impacted by extreme weather, coronavirus stay-at-home orders, or periods of civil unrest.
"Our primary care doctors serve an average of just 400 patients each," says Gaurov Dayal, M.D., ChenMed President New Markets and Chief Growth Officer. That's less than one-fifth the national average of 2,300 patients per primary doctor, and it is a real quality of care advantage for our seniors – especially for those with multiple chronic health challenges."
Noting how ChenMed doctors average 10 times more face-to-face time with patients than a typical physician does, Dr. Dayal reinforces how vital physician time investment is. He reports the average age ChenMed patients is 72 years; that 75 percent of ChenMed patients are living with five or more major and chronic health conditions; that 95 percent of ChenMed patients are low-income (within 300 percent of U.S. poverty level); and 75 percent of ChenMed patients are minorities (50 percent African American) who have increased health risks year-round, heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The future is bright for the value-based care that ChenMed doctors provide," says Dr. Chen, "and we've been seeing a record number of outstanding primary care doctors applying to join us during the coronavirus pandemic."
He adds this news is not surprising, because "our doctors have the freedom to do what's needed by patients, and not to be distracted by concerns about what services will be covered by Medicare." Dr. Chen then spotlights ChenMed's five-fold increase in first and second quarter new physician signings achieved in 2020; and the high levels of satisfaction both ChenMed doctors and patients have precisely because they are focused on improving health outcomes together.
"We are absolutely bullish about our new market openings," says Dr. Dayal, "and expect our presence will grow dramatically in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Memphis, Orlando and St. Louis, just like we are doing in the Philadelphia market we continue to grow." During the year ending June 30, 2019, Dedicated Senior Medical Center membership growth in Philadelphia exceeded 62 percent.
For seniors most in need of care, high-quality health care often is beyond reach. ChenMed brings concierge-style medicine — and better health outcomes — to the neediest populations. ChenMed is a privately owned medical, management and technology company that currently operates 59 primary care medical practices for diverse populations of seniors. A provider of choice for some 20 Medicare Advantage health insurance plans, ChenMed brands include Chen Senior Medical Center, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, and JenCare Senior Medical Center.
Results of ChenMed's high-touch approach to primary care are impressive, as illustrated in the Modern Healthcare cover story, which reports, "Indeed, ChenMed's approach has resulted in 50 percent fewer hospital admissions compared with a standard primary-care practice, 28 percent lower per-member costs and significantly higher use of evidence-based medications." Learn more about the high-growth company, where patients also average 75 percent fewer emergency room visits @ http://www.ChenMed.com, and/or follow us @chenmed.