Primary-care provider ChenMed will open its first of three new facilites dedicated to senior care in the Cleveland area on July 20.
In total, ChenMed plans to open doors at 15 new locations in the next 20 weeks, a roughly 25% expansion of its practices serving low-income seniors in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Memphis, Orlando, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
"Our commitment to underserved communities has never been stronger," said Dr. Christopher Chen, ChenMed CEO, in a provided statement. "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."
ChenMed, a global-risk provider of choice for more than 20 Medicare Advantage health plans, aims to be flexible, fast and focused in helping protect patients and employees from COVID-19 risks, according to the release. It established a coronavirus task force and shifted patient care focus to helping at-risk seniors stay healthy and home. It also pivoted from 98% in-person appointments to 95% virtual appointments in one week.
ChenMed's care remains focused by maintaining small patient panels for doctors, who are financially awarded for better health outcomes, according to the release. ChenMed's primary care physicians give their cell numbers to patients to text or call with their health concerns and see patients as often as needed virtually or in-person, including same-day appointments.
"Our primary care doctors serve an average of just 400 patients each," said Dr. Gaurov Dayal, ChenMed president, new markets, and chief growth officer, in a provided statement. "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."
A "record number" of primary care doctors are applying to work for ChenMed, with a five-fold increase in first- and second-quarter new physician signings this year, Chen said in the release. He noted that ChenMed 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."
"Our doctors fulfill their purpose by being totally accountable for helping their patients achieve better health," Chen said. "Plus, ChenMed centers offer services that help reduce barriers to healthy living, from transportation assistance to on-site medications to helping with social services."
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Cleveland Business.