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Florida-Based Medical Practice Creates 38% Fewer Hospital Days For Seniors

Bringing Better Health Care to Seniors:

Innovative model could help US seniors annually avoid 28.4 million days in hospital 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL, June 3, 2013 – The nation’s fastest-growing integrated senior primary care medical practice, ChenMed, today announced that the June 2013 issue of Health Affairs includes a report on how its highly effective and scalable model for senior health care improves quality outcomes and results in days in hospital that are 38 percent lower than the national average for seniors.  

The substantial reduction in hospital days is particularly significant, as ChenMed centers in Florida, primarily serve low-to-moderate-income elderly patients with an average age of 72 years.  Moreover, 73 percent of ChenMed patients are living with five or more major and chronic health conditions.  ChenMed is developing additional centers in Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia and Illinois under the brand name JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers.

According to the most recent CDC/NCHS National Hospital Discharge Survey, seniors 65 years and older account for 13.6 million hospital stays annually, with their average length of hospital stay being 5.5 days.  This translates into a total annual number of senior days in hospital of 74.8 million days, of which 28.4 million senior days in hospital could be avoided following principles used in the ChenMed model. 

Plus, with the American Hospital Association reporting that the average cost to community hospitals per patient per day exceeds $1,850, hospital stays by elderly patients collectively cost the more than 5,700 registered US hospitals at least $138.3 billion annually, of which some $52.5 billion could be saved each year with national saturation of the ChenMed model.

Today’s peer-reviewed Health Affairs report shows that instead of the 1,712 total hospital days per 1,000 patients reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary for 2011, seniors served by Chen Neighborhood Medical Centers in greater Miami during the same period had 654 fewer total days in hospital per 1,000 patients – a 38.2 percent reduction.

Regional 2010 data not included in the Health Affairs article are even more striking.  Instead of Florida’s average of 2,230 days in hospital per 1,000 seniors, Chen Neighborhood Medical Centers Miami/Dade County average 1,172 fewer days in hospital per 1,000 seniors, which equals a 52.6 percent reduction.

Tens of thousands seniors in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia (Georgia and Illinois expansions presently underway) currently are benefiting from the integrated health care solution. 

The multi-discipline medical practice serves seniors with traditional Medicare, and for those benefiting from Medicare Advantage plans.  Happily, the Health Affairs article also notes significant ChenMed achievements in improving patient medication adherence; increasing the time doctors and patients spend together; and in scoring extraordinarily high levels of patient satisfaction – all vital health outcome considerations for the aging US population. 

"We are excited that the leading journal on health policy thought and research is spotlighting the game-changing clinical and technological innovations being pioneered by our senior focused medical practice for low- to moderate-income individuals," says Christopher Chen, MD, ChenMed CEO.   "Our revolutionary care model creates legions of patient fans – happy and healthy seniors telling their friends and relatives about the different and wonderful way we practice medicine."

"Our incredible value proposition continues to be enhanced by innovation," explains Chen.  "We are all about achieving better health outcomes for seniors.  So, it is not surprising that we maintain incredibly high patient satisfaction levels in all of our Chen and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers, or, that for five years, we have been able to grow our medical practices by an average of 63 percent annually."

Seniors with chronic diseases represent a massive and increasing portion of US health care spending.  In fact, according to researchers at Emory University, patients with five or more chronic conditions are responsible for more than 76 percent of Medicare-spending, up from 50 percent in the mid-1980s.  

ChenMed Chief Medical Officer Craig Tanio, MD, MBA, describes the five hallmarks of the company’s innovative model to serve the high-risk, high-cost senior population as:

  1. Convenient access to board-certified doctors
  2. Unrivaled patient and physician time together
  3. One-stop shop approach, where primary care doctors work side-by-side with specialists; where vital medical tests and prescription filling both occur on site so doctors can share complete information with patients during appointments
  4. Collaborative, transparent and accountable physician culture
  5. Customized end-to-end technologies, including electronic health records, optimized patient flow and decision support capabilities – all to continuingly improve patient experience and health outcomes

"We give our patients longer and more frequent patient visits.  This means our primary-care doctors and specialists can collaboratively work to better educate patients, better coach behavior change, and better provide the compassionate, personalized care that’s so welcomed by America’s greatest generation," says Tanio.  

"Plus we attract physicians who are truly excited about helping underserved seniors with complex health challenges, and who thrive in a culture requiring transparency, collaboration and accountability for all patient health outcomes."

For patient convenience, Chen and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers offer walk-up appointments Monday-Friday, and a broad range of additional services on-site, including eye care, digital x-ray, ultrasound, acupuncture, as well as easy access to five to 15 high-volume medical specialists, including cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, podiatry, rheumatology, pulmonology and pain management.  ChenMed also provides door-to-door courtesy transportation to seniors needing it to see their doctors.

"What really differentiates Chen Medical and JenCare practices, what makes us nimble to truly serve seniors with complex health considerations, is the fact that our doctors have patient panels about a quarter the size of those for doctors working in traditional fee-based practices, and even smaller than those of doctors at many commercial 'concierge' practices catering to wealthier individuals," adds Tanio, who also chairs the Maryland Health Care Commission, a state regulatory group that’s focused on health care quality and access issues. 

"Our doctors have the time to collaborate fully to help their senior patients.  They have the time so vital to discussing prescriptions and to monitoring use.  This is a critical advantage because noncompliance with medications is one of the biggest barriers to effective treatment of chronic conditions.  Plus, our doctors benefit from powerful and proprietary behind-the-scenes technologies that allow them to stay focused on delivering quality health outcomes."

To learn more about Chen Neighborhood Medical Centers, and/or to schedule a tour or appointment at one of its eleven Miami-Dade/Broward county locations, call 305-698-6500 or 954-862-1640.

For JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers information, and/or to schedule a tour or appointment in Illinois (Chicago, Berwyn, Glenwood, Oak Lawn); in Georgia (Atlanta, Decatur, East Point); in Kentucky (West Broadway, Valley Station; Newberg ); in Louisiana (New Orleans, Gretna, Kenner, Metairie); in Virginia (Shockoe Bottom, Mechanicsville, Hull Street, Colonial Heights, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach) call 888-327-0757 toll-free.

Physicians and medical practices interested in transforming their operations to improve both health outcomes and patient satisfaction in Medicare Advantage should contact ChenMed subsidiary Primary Management Resources at 305-628-6117.  PMR’s spot-on consulting services and customized systems have improved efficiency for a diverse range of medical practices, while enhancing patient loyalty and addressing/preventing insurance carrier performance concerns.

About ChenMed, Chen and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers
ChenMed is a privately owned medical, consulting and technology company working to positively change American health care through primary care innovation primarily for the neediest populations.  Based in Miami Gardens, its operating units include Chen Neighborhood Medical Centers bringing better health care to more than 15,000 Florida seniors; JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers bringing better health care to thousands of seniors in Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia (currently adding 11 new JenCare centers in Chicago, Atlanta, Metairie, LA, and in Virginia Beach, VA); and Primary Management Resources (PMR), delivering outstanding technology systems and management consulting services to improve operations and patient experiences at diverse medical practices nationwide.

The integrated ChenMed practices are incredibly popular with seniors, and the company continues to expand its reach having achieved average annual growth of 63 percent during the past five years.   

Patient-focused, ChenMed surveys 30 percent of patients seen at Chen and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers daily to measure customer loyalty using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric developed in 2003 by management consultant Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company in collaboration with the company Satmetrix.  Net Promoter Scores effectively measure how likely customers are to recommend a company/brand/product to a friend, colleague or relative.  

Rapid organic patient growth is a hallmark for Chen and JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers, where monthly Net Promoter Scores among patients served consistently average in the mid to high +90s.   According to NPS pioneer Reichheld, the average American company scores less than +10 on the NPS, while the highest performing organizations are situated between +50 and +80.

Led and inspired by ChenMed Chairman and founder, James Chen, M.D., the company’s medical practice model has been serving low-to-moderate income seniors for some 25 years, and accepting full Medicare risk for about a decade.  See the complete Health Affairs article, and also read the Forbes story on how the family-owned, physician-led business is a transformation agent to improve the broken, unsympathetic and fragmented care delivery system that many patients still experience today.  Watch the Chen Family video.  Follow us on twitter @chenmed.

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres. Its mission is to serve as a high-level, nonpartisan forum to promote analysis and discussion on improving health and health care, and to address such issues as cost, quality, and access.

Jim Brown, Director of Public & Community Affairs
305-310-7214 or 305-628-6117, ext. 21522

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