December 15, 2016
MIAMI–Chen Senior Medical Center (CSMC) today announced expansion of its innovative program to help thousands of South Florida seniors avoid the nation’s fourth-leading cause of death, adverse drug reactions. Part of ChenMed, the integrated medical practice offering affordable care and superior experience to tens of thousands of seniors in six states, Chen Senior Medical Center started offering complimentary, no obligation, medication review appointments with primary care physicians, because adverse drug reactions are preventable.
“Perfect vision is 20/20. So, we’ve just set a 180-day goal for our primary care physicians to help 2,020 at-risk seniors benefit from courtesy doctor reviews of their known medications and supplements,” explains Maina Gatonye, MD, CSMC Chief Medical Officer.
“The FDA reports that adverse drug reactions are the nation’s fourth-leading cause of death, ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, Pneumonia, accidents and automobile deaths,” adds Dr. Gatonye. “And during the past few weeks, we’ve booked more than 80 no-obligation medication review appointments with our doctors. Happily, my peers already have helped several people avoid potential hospitalizations likely to have been caused by adverse drug reactions.”
Seniors ages 65 and older are at even greater risk of being adversely impacted by taking too much or the wrong combination of prescribed medicines and health supplements notes Cristina Bello-Quintero, MD, PharmD, CSMC primary care physician and ChenMed National Director of Pharmacy. “As people age, the ability to take medications without side effects frequently is reduced. Plus, many older adults take multiple medications prescribed by multiple doctors who frequently do not talk to each other prior to writing prescriptions,” says Dr. Bello-Quintero.
“I encourage every senior to call 954-880-9213. Set a complimentary, no obligation, medication review appointment with a Chen Senior Medical Center doctor. No one can afford to consume a toxic cocktail of medications and health supplements, and this is particularly true for seniors who, in just one 20-minute appointment, could learn if they are at risk of an adverse drug reaction,” underscores Dr. Bello-Quintero.
Medication reviews generally are not a billable physician service to Medicare or Medicare Advantage insurance plans as Medication Therapy Management Program submissions without patients hitting sizeable health and prescription expense thresholds. So, it’s not surprising that many PCP and specialist doctors do not offer patients frequent medication reviews as a potentially life-saving service.
National studies show that the average physician in the United States annually serves a panel of 2,300 patients, and most doctors work in fee-for-service environments that give financial rewards for pre-approved medical transaction steps, not for better health outcomes. In stark contrast, physicians at Chen Senior Medical Centers have patient panels that do not exceed 450 patients – one fifth the number of patients served by the average fee-for-service doctor in the US.
“We intentionally work small to achieve big results for our patients” reports Jason Barker, CSMC Market President. “Our patients benefit from having doctors with more opportunity to listen, learn and personalize care for older adults with major and complex health conditions.
“We never rush physician time with patients,” underscores Barker, “and our focus on preventative care allows us to better address disease processes early. This is a big deal for folks ages 65 and older – especially when earlier treatment interventions mean seniors can live better and longer. Plus, we beat the South Florida average for hospital sick days by 53 percent and the national average by 38 percent.”
The game-changing ChenMed integrated care model pioneered by Chen Senior Medical Centers, also is helping tens of thousands of at-risk seniors served by Dedicated Senior Medical Centers in Lakeland, Fla.; by 25 JenCare Senior Medical Centers in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia (Tidewater and Richmond); and by hundreds of independent medical practices having contracted with ChenMed for behind-the-scenes consulting and technology services to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction levels.
Called “Brown Bag For Health”, the complimentary, no obligation, medication review service being offered by CSMC PCPs makes it easy for at-risk seniors to know if they might be at risk of an adverse drug reaction. Interested Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those ages 65 and older, simply need to call 954-880-9213 or visit to set a mutually convenient courtesy medication review appointment with a CSMC doctor. The medical practice then mails or gives each patient a brown paper bag noting three easy steps: 1) Place all of your prescription containers in this “Brown Bag For Health”; 2) Bring your “Brown Bag For Health” to a complimentary appointment you schedule with a Chen Senior Medical Center doctor; 3) Let our doctor review your medications to reduce your risk for an adverse drug reaction.
Since ChenMed doctors have just one-fifth as many patients as the national average, Chen Senior Medical Center patients enjoy industry-leading access to their physicians and receive more personalized care – including same-day appointments, when needed. PCP-coordinated care by ChenMed includes on-site medication dispensing, door-to-doctor transportation, on-site imaging, and convenient access to specialist doctors.