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STUDY | ChenMed and University of Miami Researchers Show High-Touch Care Improves Health Outcomes

“High-touch” care improves outcomes and lowers costs in at-risk seniors. ~American Journal of Managed Care; September 2018

50% Fewer Hospitalizations + 28% Lower Cost + Up to 41% Increase in Preventive Medication Use

Clinician researchers at ChenMed and the University of Miami today reported findings showing that Medicare-eligible seniors with Medicare Advantage insurance enjoy substantively better health outcomes when they benefit from high-intensity care that encourages frequent direct person-to-person interaction between patients and their primary care providers.

RESEARCH, AJMC, Concierge Medicine: “High-Touch Care Leads to Better Outcomes and Lower Costs in a Senior Population”

Their paper, published in the September American Journal of Managed Care, compares medical claims data for nearly 6,000 elderly patients matched by Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score predicting 10-year survival in patients with multiple comorbidities; by age; and by gender in both high-touch primary care and in standard primary care medical practices. Notable high-touch medical practice benefits reported in the peer-reviewed journal include a 50% reduction in hospital admissions; a 28% reduction in per-member-per-month healthcare costs; and up to a 41% improvement in medication use.

“Our findings show that, for seniors with Medicare Advantage insurance, receiving care in a high-touch medical practice where seniors have more time with their doctors dramatically improves health outcomes and reduces costs,” says lead investigator Reyan Ghany, MD, FACC, FASE, RPVI, ChenMed National Director of Cardiovascular Diseases.

Plus, noting the vital role that patient adherence in taking prescribed medications plays in effectively managing cardiovascular diseases, Ghany explains that “It’s now clear that patients served by a high-touch medical practice are up to 41% more adherent to medications long shown to enhance health outcomes for the nation’s leading cause of death, heart disease.”

Specifically, the paper reports that patients receiving care at a high-touch medical practice are 41% more adherent than patients seen at standard medical practices to taking aspirin = 41% better; Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors = 36% better; Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) = 36% better; beta blockers = 26% better; and diuretics = 22% better.

“It’s logical that greater interaction between elderly patients and providers enables better optimization of medications, while also promoting better adherence,” notes Leonardo Tamariz, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Division of Population Health and Computational Medicine, University of Miami. “Plus, frequent patient/physician appointments, including walk-ins, give doctors in high-touch clinical settings more opportunities to overcome clinical inertia, and to earn trust vital to facilitating health-improving behaviors among patients.”

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This point is amplified by fellow University of Miami study investigator Ana Palacio, MD, MPH, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine, Miller School of Medicine. She says, “ChenMed is transforming care for ethnically diverse seniors through more than 50 medical centers in seven states. A rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness and scalability of a high touch model of care for the elderly should help inform future health care policies.”

Dr. Palacio adds, “It’s sobering to know that some 46 million people are 65 years or older in the United States, and that the nation’s elderly population is expected to double by 2030. After all, our country already invests more than $617 billion yearly, providing care to seniors for chronic conditions. We need approaches that optimize the use of those resources.”

About ChenMed
ChenMed honors seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health. The company operates about 50 Chen, Dedicated and JenCare Senior Medical Centers serving diverse elderly populations in seven states. To help seniors enjoy more healthy days, while significantly reducing both emergency room visits and in-patient hospital admissions, ChenMed emphasizes prevention and high-touch services, including on-site specialists and medication dispensing, door-to-doctor transportation, and substantively more face-to-face time with primary care physicians.

Several media reports have described the innovative ChenMed model, its results and transformational potential. Examples include: the Forbes story entitled “Concierge Medicine For The Poorest”; Medical Economics noting ChenMed “may be the best primary care system in the U.S.”; The Commonwealth Fund’s Transforming Care salute to “patient-centric cultures that are built on empathy and learning”; the EMS World “How Care Collaboration is Improving Patient Outcomes” cover story on ChenMed.

About University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
The Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System strive to be a leading academic medical center in Florida. The University of Miami Health System is comprised of three university hospitals, including its acute-care University of Miami Hospital, and specialty hospitals Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center; three major affiliated institutions, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Holtz Children’s Hospital, and Miami VA Medical Center; and more than 30 outpatient facilities. and the campus effectively handles more than 1 million patient encounters annually.

Ranked number 44 in the 2017 edition of “Best Graduate Schools” published by U.S. News & World Report, the Miller School consistently delivers high-caliber, compassionate health care; advances innovative research; and educates the next generation of medical leaders.

The Division of Population Health and Computational Medicine within the Department of Medicine strives to expand the use of integrated data sources to inform and test innovative approaches that seek to improve the quality of care and outcomes of patients in South Florida.

SOURCE: Press Release;

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