Dedicated Senior Medical Centers enter Philadelphia in deal with Independence Blue Cross

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Dedicated Senior Medical Center, a Miami-based chain of clinics for patients on Medicare Advantage, is entering Philadelphia in a partnership with Independence Blue Cross.

A Florida operator of primary care centers for seniors plans to open four Dedicated Senior Medical Centers in Philadelphia this summer in a Medicare Advantage partnership with Independence Blue Cross, the two companies said Monday.

ChenMed, based in Miami Gardens, Fla., plans August and September openings of the centers in Olney, North Philadelphia, Mayfair, and the Parkside section of West Philadelphia, with the goal of reaching low-income, underserved seniors.

Under a contract with Independence, ChenMed will receive a lump sum of money — determined by federal regulators  — to take care of patients with primary-care physicians at the Dedicated Senior centers and will carry full financial responsibility for their care, including hospital stays for heart attacks, said Christopher Chen, chief executive of ChenMed, which was founded by his father, James Chen.

Chen described the ChenMed model as “concierge care on steroids” absent annual fees. The model works because many of the patients in the targeted areas have multiple chronic conditions, Chen said. The federal government pays more for Medicare Advantage members that have more illnesses. If ChenMed can keep patients out of the hospital, the extras it provides pay for themselves.

The centers are designed to be one-stop shops, including specialists, pharmacy services, x-rays, tests, and screens. To avoid common transportation problems, ChenMed offers door-to-door rides, Chen said.

Chen said he expected to open the Philadelphia locations with one or two doctors each to start. Typically, the company’s centers employee four to eight doctors each when they are fully operational, Chen said.

The locations of the four centers will be: 6431 Sackett St. in Mayfair; 5675 N. Front St., Suite 141 in Olney; 2101 W. Lehigh Ave., Suite A in North Philadelphia; and 1575 N. 52d St., Suite S-3 in West Philadelphia. The Olney and North Philadelphia sites are scheduled to open Aug. 1. The sites in Mayfair and West Philadelphia are scheduled to open Sept. 4.

ChenMed’s Dedicated Senior Medical Centers will also accept patients covered by other Medicare Advantage plans.