“We were surprised by that recent study because our experience has been the opposite. We have found that by providing intensive, “concierge-style” care to this population, we can have meaningful impact on their health outcomes and costs … We have found that investments up front—such as courtesy services, drop-in visits, and smaller patient panels—increase patient access to primary care. With this concierge-style model, doctors are able to spend a remarkable amount of time with each patient. When we examined our data, our physicians averaged 189 minutes in face-to-face appointment time with each patient, while the 2014 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) notes that U.S. patients are seen by general and family practice physicians for an average of 20.9 minutes each year. Increasing time between physicians and patients simply would not work under traditional Medicare fee-for-service. We’ve found this increased face-to-face time makes a noticeable difference. “
Christopher Chen, MD, is the CEO of ChenMed, a physician practice that aims to bring concierge-style medicine and better health outcomes to the neediest populations—low-income seniors managing multiple complex chronic conditions. Under his leadership, ChenMed has grown from 4 senior medical centers in Florida in 2010 to the more than 40 locations in 9 US markets today. Raised in South Florida, Chen graduated from the University of Miami’s Honors Program in medicine, and completed his medical training at Beth Israel Deaconess. He also held a specialty position studying cardiology at Cornell University Medical College.
By Christopher Chen, MD, CEO of ChenMed
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – While little seems certain about the current healthcare reform debate in Congress, the transition to value-based care is well underway. We are beginning to see that when providers are paid to deliver better care at lower costs, they can have a real impact on both. The question now is, what about the population that is responsible for the most healthcare costs—low-income seniors managing multiple chronic conditions? Medicare has seen some promise with accountable care organizations, which generated more than $466 million in total program savings in 2015. However, a recent study receiving some attention suggested that physicians treating high-cost, high-need patients struggle under value-based care models. We were surprised by that recent study because our experience has been the opposite. We have found that by providing intensive, “concierge-style” care to this population, we can have meaningful impact on their health outcomes and costs.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This past summer 2017, Concierge Medicine Today asked our Physician readers, How many questions do you ask your patients during their visit? BEFORE Concierge Medicine, How Many Questions Did You Have Time To Ask Patients? The results are not necessarily surprising. They do put a lens in front of the problem though and help us see just where you may be able to help. The results found indicated the following: Just over 60 percent of Physician’s said ‘Before Concierge Care, I Had Time to Ask Less Than 5 Questions per patient, per visit …’ and Slightly under 40 percent of Physician’s said ‘In Concierge Care, I Can Ask/Have Time to Ask Less Than 15+ Questions per patient, per visit.’
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