- ChenMed plans to expand into the Cleveland market, as well as into Cincinnati, Memphis, Orlando and St. Louis by opening multiple Dedicated Senior Medical Centers in each of the five new cities, aiming to transform primary care for tens of thousands of presently underserved seniors, according to Modern Healthcare.
- Its primary care doctors serve an average of 400 patients each, which is less than one-fifth the national average of 2,300 patients per doctor and have 10 times more face time with patients than the typical physician, according to the article.
- ChenMed’s strategy is to partner with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in risk-based arrangements to manage care and reduce unnecessary utilization.
Modern Healthcare is reporting, “Miami-based primary care provider ChenMed plans to expand into the Cleveland market, as well as into Cincinnati, Memphis, Orlando and St. Louis, while growing within its current 14 markets.
“ChenMed announced Tuesday, Dec. 3, that it plans to establish multiple Dedicated Senior Medical Centers in each of the five new cities, opening a total of 20 new medical practices in the next year,” the Modern Healthcare article continued. “It aims to transform primary care for tens of thousands of presently underserved seniors, according to a news release. Dr. Gaurov Dayal, ChenMed’s president of new markets and chief growth officer, said ChenMed looks for underserved areas with many seniors who aren’t getting the care they need.”
“On average, clinics are about 10,000 square feet in size, depending on the market and space, Dayal said in the article. ‘Each has the ability to serve about 3,000 patients, which will take a few years for ChenMed to work up to. Dayal said he anticipates ChenMed will grow in the future beyond three locations in the Cleveland market, which he estimates could support as many as 10 clinics. The company has sustained average annual growth exceeding 35% since 2010, according to the release. Following the new openings, ChenMed will have nearly 80 centers in 10 states.”
“ChenMed, a value-based provider, separates itself from traditional fee-for-service medical practices by making it easy for patients to stay connected with their doctor,” according to the release quoted in the article. Doctors provide personalized primary care and give patients their personal cellphone numbers for timely replies to texts or calls. Dayal said in the release that ChenMed’s primary care doctors serve an average of 400 patients each, which is less than one-fifth the national average of 2,300 patients per doctor. ChenMed primary care physicians average 10 times more face-to-face time with their patients than a typical physician, according to the release.”
Personalized care benefit offerings
According to the ChenMed press release reported in Modern Healthcare, personalized care benefits for ChenMed patients include:
- Door-to-doctor transportation, if necessary
- Having the cell phone number for their ChenMed primary care physician
- Walk-in appointments
- Unlimited visits
- On-site cardiology
- Medication dispensing
- Services such as imaging, labs, acupuncture
- Healthy lifestyle classes
- Almost all costs of care covered by fixed Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that are enhanced by Medicare Advantage supplemental insurance.
ChenMed’s strategy is to go into underserved areas and partner with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in risk-based arrangements to manage care and reduce unnecessary utilization by improving access, managing care and addressing social determinates of health.
So, it’s not surprising that four of the five markets they’re going into currently have relatively high concentrations of MA enrollees. It’s also probably not a coincidence that two of cities — Cleveland and Memphis — are also the focus of a recent Kroger/United Healthcare collaboration, which is detailed in a Dec. 3 HFMA blog “Retailers partnering with healthcare companies to expand access.“
Given that most of the growth in Medicare enrollment is occurring through MA, it’s likely we’ll see more announcements from ChenMed and other similar risk-bearing primary care providers expanding into new markets in the future.
If you’re wondering where they’ll pop up next, the MA county- level enrollment file is a good place to cast. If your county has a lot of MA lives in under-served areas, or is projected to have a lot of lives age into Medicare soon, you may have a new neighbor in the near future.
ChenMed’s success in reducing unnecessary utilization
The model is successful in reducing unnecessary utilization. According to a report in The Commonwealth Fund, early studies of their Miami-Dade Senior Center found that:
- Seniors served by Chen Neighborhood Medical Center in Miami-Dade County had 1,234 fewer total hospital days per 1,000 than the CMS average of 2,420 per 1,000 seniors in the county.
- Seniors served by Chen Neighborhood Medical Center in Broward County had 700 fewer total hospital days per 1,000 than the CMS average of 1,961 per 1,000 seniors in the county.
It will be interesting to see what happens to days per 1,000 in these new markets as the model expands. If I were an efficient hospital in one of these markets, I’d be looking at this as an opportunity to partner with them for their referrals when their patients inevitably require acute- level services.