MIAMI, Feb. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Primary care doctors at ChenMed, a leading senior-focused primary care practice operating more than 75 medical centers in 10 states, have long given their cell phone numbers to patients, encouraging every patient to call or text anytime a medical question or concern might arise. This hallmark behavior, along with honoring same-day telemedicine or in-person appointments at ludicrously safe and clean Chen, Dedicated, and JenCare Senior Medical Centers, received three special boosts during the first 10 months of the coronavirus pandemic. All three actions — from 1.2 million "love calls," to 88,000 well-check texts, and more than 175 "Ask the Doctors" telephone town hall events that educated more than 630,000 Medicare-eligible seniors (more than 107,000 listener hours) — are expected to be even stronger for ChenMed patients in 2021.
"When it comes to delivering truly personalized primary care to at-risk seniors, for whom quality of life has been so adversely impacted by months of staying home and socially distant from family and friends, doctors need to find creative ways to show love to their patients," says Gordon Chen, M.D., ChenMed Chief Medical Officer. "We keep turning up the volume on 'love calls', well-check texts, and virtual visits to help keep our seniors healthy, happy, and home until they are protected by the COVID-19 vaccine."
"Depression and anxiety, left unchecked, can adversely affect health," notes Dr. Chen, "and many seniors are living with multiple and major chronic conditions that frankly need both virtual and in-person care by the doctor who knows them best. Valentine's Day is top of mind right now. So, I encourage every doctor in America to demonstrate how frequent touches and year-round kindness are precisely what create the doctor-patient relationship that yields better health outcomes."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Social isolation significantly increases a person's risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.
- Social isolation is associated with about a 50 percent increased risk of dementia.
- Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) are associated with a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke.
- Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.
- Loneliness among heart failure patients is associated with a nearly four times increased risk of death, 68 percent increased risk of hospitalization and 57 percent increased risk of emergency department visits.
"I lost my Valentine, my loving husband, in 2020. Last year, I also lost my son-in-law, a daughter and my sister – all to COVID-19 infections that put them in the hospital ICU," explains Cynthia Roberson, a long-time patient of Yana Gofman, M.D., at Chen Senior Medical Center in Lauderhill, Fla. "My wonderful Chen doctor called me every day when I was so shaken by the tragic hospitalizations and my personal loss of so many family members. Then, my doctor called me twice daily when I became COVID-19 positive. She does whatever it takes to help me stay out of the hospital. So, I love Dr. Gofman for treating me like family and for helping me – even with all my health challenges including asthma -- beat COVID."
ChenMed Founder James Chen, M.D., Ph.D., is resolutely passionate about the importance of "love calls" to patients by physicians. "There is nothing more sacred than the doctor-patient relationship," this value-based care pioneer emphasizes. "Doctors must keep earning trust to improve health outcomes for patients they are blessed to serve. Frequent outbound 'love calls' by doctors and their care teams, just to check on their patients, is the best way to get patients to call or text their doctor anytime they might not be feeling well or might have a medical question."
ChenMed, headquartered in Miami Gardens, Fla., is a privately owned medical, management, and technology company that delivers the high-touch and personalized primary care Medicare-eligible seniors need to enjoy better health. This high-touch primary care is shown to reduce coronavirus deaths by 40 percent, according to a study published in American Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Named one of Fortune 2020 "Change the World" companies, ChenMed brings concierge-style medicine and better health outcomes to the neediest populations. ChenMed brands include Chen Senior Medical Center, Dedicated Senior Medical Center and JenCare Senior Medical Center.