New clinic aiming to help underserved, fixed-income seniors

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new clinic in Columbus is looking for some VIPs – Very Important Patients.

Patients must be senior citizens with Medicare or Medicaid. Doctors said the goal is to give patients the medical attention they need, and in some cases before patients realize how serious their condition really is.

“I’ve been in the hospital three times,” said patient John Ash. “Congestive heart problems, lung problems.”

And high blood pressure.

Just weeks ago, Ash heard about the new clinic, designed to take better care of elderly patients in underserved neighborhoods.

It’s been less than 30 days and Ash said it works.

“Blood pressure is back to normal, breathing is back to normal, and she has me coming in once a week until the blood pressure is totally stable,” he said.

The clinics are called Dedicated Senior Medical Centers. There are nearly a dozen of them across eight states. Three will be located in central Ohio. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther toured the facility.

ChenMed partnered with Ohio Health to give seniors covered by fixed Medicare/Medicaid in moderate to low-income neighborhoods and at-risk seniors medical attention catered to them.

“The average primary care physician will take care of 2,300 patients for each doctor so if you’re wondering why is it you feel like my primary care doctor doesn’t have time for me and why is it when I call them, I have difficulty getting hold of them and why is it when I’m in the doctor’s office I feel they’re in a hurry,” Dr. Chen said. “The reason is is because they are in a hurry.”

To make sure patients get that care, Dedicated Seniors is offering door to door service.

Each patient will have their doctor’s cell phone number, unlimited visits, and walk-in appointments, and each location will offer on-site cardiology, a pharmacy, lab tests, and more.

“If we’re able to reduce the hospitalization rates, and we’re able to make them better, what will happen is that the insurance companies will save money,” Chen said.

Chen said those savings are passed onto facilities like Dedicated Senior to provide that VIP medical service.

Each doctor is assigned 400 patients, giving patients and doctors more time with each other, more access to services, and because of the one-on-one attention whenever patients need it, doctors will be able to detect problems before they become a major issue.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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