October 30, 2017

Visit to Better Medicare Alliance Physician Group Ally ChenMed



“I’ve never had care like this…ChenMed is like my family and I love everybody here” said Marilyn, a ChenMed patient. Marilyn’s mother and brother also receive care at ChenMed. ChenMed patients seen here with Allyson Y. Schwartz, BMA president & CEO.

Since 2010, ChenMed has been delivering care to low-income seniors in Miami. Today, ChenMed has nearly 40 practices in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia and serves 60,000 moderate and low-income older adults.


Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) had the opportunity to receive a tour of the Chen Senior Medical Center in Hallandale Beach, Florida from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gordon Chen and his leadership team on the frontlines of providing high-quality care to Medicare Advantage patients. ChenMed gave BMA a glimpse into the work they do to care for seniors every day.


ChenMed is responsible for the full risk of patients’ total health care costs. This means practices partner with insurers who provide a capitated monthly payment that covers all the patients’ health care needs. The payment is adjusted based on each patient’s health status. The capitated payment framework in Medicare Advantage enables a commitment to ChenMed doctor-led model that takes patient-centered care to a new level.


Dr. Chen said the core of the ChenMed model is physician education, culture, and accountability. The importance of primary care is elevated by capping patient panels at approximately 400, while the typical primary care physician in America maintains a panel size of up to 2,300 patients. It is not uncommon for a high-risk senior to see their primary care physician every month. Clinicians and other health professionals work in teams to deliver preventive care, address the social determinants of health, and ensure patients receive high-value care.


During our visit, BMA President & CEO Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz and I met with Marilyn, Joe, and their 82-year-old mother, pictured above. Marilyn is diabetic. With the help of ChenMed, she lost 86 pounds and her diabetes is now under control. In her health journey with ChenMed over the past 8 years, she received nutrition counseling from her primary care physician, a nutritionist, and educational materials such as the 7-day Chen Cleanse designed to reduce cholesterol levels, balance blood sugar levels, and help patients lose weight. She is now teaching her 9-year old granddaughter new health habits she has learned at ChenMed.


Marilyn’s brother Joe was living in Georgia several years ago and got sick. His sister urged him to move closer to family in Florida and become a patient at ChenMed. Soon after Joe returned, he found out he had cancer and had to have a kidney removed. He is also managing diabetes and recently had knee surgery. Joe is working closely with his primary care physician to get his chronic conditions under control and recover from his surgeries. He said he values the providers at ChenMed because “they never talk down to you, they always talk to you.”


ChenMed is producing high-value outcomes for patients. Newly released data shows the success of their scalable Medicare Advantage value-based care model that can be viewed here. Highlights of the data include 33.6 percent lower than the national average ER visits, 28 percent fewer hospital admissions, and an average of 189 minutes of face-to-face time with each patient annually.


It was valuable to hear—and see – first-hand how patient care, enabled by Medicare Advantage’s capitated framework, and led by leaders such as ChenMed can make such a difference in patient care and outcomes. The commitment and compassion of ChenMed physicians for patients really came alive during our visit.


We thank the ChenMed staff and patients for hosting us and teaching us about the compassionate, high-quality care delivered through the Medicare Advantage framework. We look forward to continuing our collaboration to ensure Medicare Advantage remains a strong option for beneficiaries.

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