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OhioHealth and ChenMed Partner to Transform Primary Care for Underserved Seniors

OhioHealth, a nationally recognized health system based in Columbus, Ohio and ChenMed, today announced plans to open three, new, geriatric-based primary care practices in underserved neighborhoods near north Columbus, the far east side and in the Hilltop/west side area. The dedicated senior medical centers, opening in early fall 2019, will improve the lives of moderate-to-low-income seniors, particularly those with Medicare Advantage or combined Medicare/Medicaid health insurance coverage.

The OhioHealth alliance with ChenMed, a nationally recognized physician-led primary care provider serving seniors in seven states, will transform care for central Ohio elderly by empowering physician focus on wellness, prevention and frequent visits. The three clinics, jointly staffed by OhioHealth Physician Group and ChenMed, will increase access and improve health outcomes for thousands. More locations could come later.

“OhioHealth has a long history of caring for underserved communities and populations,” said Michael Krouse, OhioHealth Senior Vice President, and Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer. “We are proud and excited to be continuing that tradition for our senior patients through this partnership with ChenMed.”

“Having seen how ChenMed delivers VIP service to its patients, and how effective its primary care physicians are in detecting and managing high-risk diseases,” added Krouse, “and the great outcomes they consistently achieve for diverse populations of seniors, we decided to partner with them to supercharge primary care for seniors in Columbus.”

“Seniors and their families win when health systems find meaningful ways to deliver high-touch personalized primary care,” noted Christopher Chen, MD, ChenMed Chief Executive Officer. “More partnerships like ours will be needed nationwide. We deeply appreciate OhioHealth’s passion for transforming primary care for underserved Ohio seniors.”

“Our goal is to create a new standard of care for Columbus seniors,” said Carrie Harris-Muller, Senior Vice President of Population Health at OhioHealth, “by clinically integrating ChenMed’s high-touch primary care into our health system, where 2,100 specialist doctors can help primary care physicians (PCPs) achieve an even higher level of personalized care.”

The model

The partnership brings a comprehensive model of care that will combine easy access to OhioHealth Physician Group PCPs and specialists with high-touch care, more time with the doctors, and better coordination of care for these high-risk patients – all made possible by reduced physician patient panels.

“PCPs in the high-touch centers are expected to serve approximately 400 patients each,” explained Gaurov Dayal, MD, ChenMed President, New Markets and Chief Growth Officer. “That’s roughly one-fifth the national average of 2,300 patients per doctor. And substantively more PCP time with patients is material to earning trust, to effectively detecting and managing high-risk diseases, to helping seniors enjoy more healthy days.”

Each center will feature personalized care including;

  • Patients having cell phone numbers for their primary care physicians
  • Walk-in appointments
  • On-site cardiology, podiatry, medication dispensing, imaging, labs, acupuncture, and more.
  • Healthy lifestyle classes
  • Door-to-doctor transportation
  • Significantly more doctor time with patients.  PCPs will invest an average of 208 minutes per year, face-to-face, with each patient. That’s more than 10 times the 20.3-minutes a year in facetime with patients that is the average for family and general practice physicians.

“As I meet with community leaders and constituents, it is clear that more can be done to provide better care for seniors in Central Ohio,” said U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03). “That is why I am so excited about OhioHealth and ChenMed’s new partnership to improve upon the delivery and access to healthcare for seniors in underserved communities.”

The five-year investment in Franklin County will exceed $60 million and provide intensive primary care for up to 8,000 seniors.  As the alliance grows, it’s possible that the partnership could expand to serve more than 20,000 seniors in central Ohio, with a total investment that could top $200 million.

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 12 years in a row, 2007-2018.

Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 29,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 11 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.  OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, and OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at

About ChenMed

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 operates more than 50 primary care medical practices for seniors in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Its brands include Chen Senior Medical Center, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, and JenCare Senior Medical Center.

ChenMed honors seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health. Results of its high-touch approach to primary care are impressive, as illustrated in the recent Modern Healthcare cover story (Oct. 20, 2018), which reports that: “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.” Inspired by ChenMed Chairman and founder James Chen, MD, PhD, the company has been serving low-to-moderate-income seniors with multiple complex chronic conditions for over 30 years.