Exterior shot of doctor's office

Six New Primary Care Centers Coming to Wayne County

In 2003, Dr. Jen-Ling James Chen was diagnosed with cancer and given two months to live. He and his family experienced many of the frustrations senior patients often encounter when trying to navigate the healthcare system, even with tireless advocacy by his spouse, two adult sons (both cardiologists) and two daughters-in-law (one a primary care doctor and one an attorney).

Soon after his recovery, the entire Chen family decided to work to transform primary care of the neediest populations by creating a rapidly scalable, personalized primary care experience for Medicare-eligible seniors. Together, they leveraged decades of medical experience to establish ChenMed, to honor seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health – particularly in underserved communities.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan believes in the importance of giving everyone especially those at-risk high-quality, affordable and coordinated access to health care. In supporting these opportunities for Michiganders, Blue Cross has announced a partnership with Dedicated Senior Medical Centers, a subsidiary of ChenMed, as they open six new primary care centers in Wayne County and the surrounding areas. Four Dedicated centers are slated to open by summer 2021.

The personalized and affordable services provided through ChenMed, the parent company of Dedicated, are aimed specifically at improving health for seniors. With an emphasis on low- and moderate-income seniors who often lack access to high-quality primary care, Dedicated will provide medical care services to Blue Cross members with Individual Medicare Advantage plans.

These primary care and specialist doctors, like their ChenMed peers in 10 other states, serve thousands of Medicare-eligible seniors benefiting from Medicare Advantage insurance and provide high-touch care that effectively detects and manages multiple and complex illnesses.

The benefits provided by Dedicated doctors include:

  • Emphasis on preventive measures
  • Regular availability and quick response to patients through text or phone call whenever there is a health concern
  • Telemedicine appointments to help patients quickly connect with and see their doctor from the comfort and safety of their own homes
  • Same-day, in-person appointments with doctors at Dedicated centers, with the added benefit of door-to-doctor round-trip transportation when needed
  • Well-coordinated medical care for seniors in one location

In addition to these benefits, the large, interdisciplinary Dedicated care team supports social determinants of health screenings and coordination of social services, wrapping services around the member.

This holistic approach to care has proved to yield better health outcomes. Senior patients receiving care at Dedicated (ChenMed) centers experience 50% fewer hospital admissions compared with a standard primary-care practice, 28% lower per-member costs and significantly higher use of evidence-based medications.

A recent study published in October 2020 by the peer-reviewed American Journal of Preventive Cardiology found a significant correlation between seniors receiving high-touch primary care and surviving COVID-19. The study included a group of 400 seniors with coronavirus who received care provided by Dedicated and other ChenMed doctors. The findings concluded that seniors who received their care had a reduced risk of dying from coronavirus by 40%.

“Our proven approach to care works really well because physician and patient incentives are absolutely aligned,” noted Jay Shah, M.D., MBA, ChenMed Managing Director of New Markets and Growth. “Everyone wins at Dedicated when patients enjoy the better health that is so achievable when doctors invest the time needed to provide truly personalized primary care.”

Dedicated’s financial model with Blue Cross is both risk and value-based. This arrangement emphasizes quality of care and care coordination to better manage chronic conditions, as well as addressing social needs. The model aligns with Blue Cross’ strategy of advancing value-based risk contracts to optimize member health through high-quality care in order to contain rising costs, first established in 2019 with the Blueprint for Affordability program.

Stephen Carrier, senior vice president of Care Delivery & Network Performance for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, feels the partnership will be another opportunity to meet the needs of senior members. “We are looking forward to our partnership with Dedicated Senior Medical Centers and the ability to bring more opportunities for high-quality, accessible, affordable health care to our at-risk senior members.”

While the exact locations for the first four Dedicated clinics are currently being finalized, they will be in areas where convenient access to primary care providers is limited. One clinic has been confirmed for the East Warren/Cadieux area of Detroit, the same neighborhood where Blue Cross has committed to investing $5 million through 2022 — a pledge that will help inclusive neighborhood development through Detroit’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund and Affordable Housing Leverage Fund. ChenMed expects to invest between $20 million to $25 million and employ around 200 Dedicated Detroit employees by 2023.

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Photo credit: Courtesy of ChenMed

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