Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan has teamed up with Miami-based ChenMed to open six primary care clinics to serve mostly people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid in underserved areas of Wayne County and surrounding areas.
ChenMed's Dedicated Senior Medical Centers subsidiary expects to invest up to $25 million to hire about 200 providers and support staff and acquire, build and equip the six primary care centers, said Dr. Jay Shah, managing director of new markets and growth with ChenMed.
Steve Carrier, Blue Cross' senior vice president of care delivery and network performance, said the centers would initially serve individual Medicare Advantage members who are seniors of moderate to low income. Four centers are expected to open next summer with the final two by end of 2021.
Blue Cross and ChenMed are discussing future plans to expand the members served at the centers to commercial and other patients, Shah said.
Carrier said Blue Cross projects to save millions of dollars in care costs by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits, using telehealth services, and avoiding worsened chronic conditions by improving access to care.
Shah said Dedicated has proven savings in the 10 states and 20 metro markets in which it currently operates. He said savings and care improvement will start to accrue within the first several months.
"Costs and utilization of dual eligible members are significantly higher than other Medicare Advantage members," Shah said. "Some members are well-managed, but a whole chunk of members account for (majority of costs). They are deemed to be poorly managed members. By serving these members we expect to see the results we see in other markets."