Five New Year's Resolutions to Support a Healthier 2023 for Seniors

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 12:33 PM CST

Leading primary care provider ChenMed shares tips for a healthy start

MIAMI, Jan. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The start of the year is a time for resolutions and examining old habits. ChenMed, a leading primary care provider improving the lives of vulnerable seniors, offers some resolutions, for the 58.6 million Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older, that are easy to keep throughout the year. Making these practices a habit can help patients reduce the impact of rising healthcare costs and improve their quality of life.

Reggie Ross, M.D., ChenMed Regional Chief Clinical Officer, right, sees patient benefiting from...
Reggie Ross, M.D., ChenMed Regional Chief Clinical Officer, right, sees patient benefiting from a same-day appointment.(PRNewswire)
120+ Chen, Dedicated and JenCare Senior Medical Centers are transforming care of the neediest populations in 15 states.
  1. Ask for the cell phone number for your primary care provider (PCP) and the main number to your doctor's office – add the numbers to your cell phone. Do not hesitate to text or call your PCP whenever you have a medical question or concern. Speedy replies from the doctor who knows you best can dramatically improve health – especially for those with complex health conditions.
  2. Make sure your PCP is a true champion for you, welcoming same-day, and walk-in appointments, plus offering telemedicine options for care in the comfort and safety of your own living room. The world is in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in some parts of the world. Concerns about rising infection rates and new strains of the virus could make a combination of in-person and telehealth visits with doctors a best practice again. If you can't see or connect with your doctor whenever you need help, make it a priority to find a new and more responsive primary care physician.
  3. Stay current on your vaccinations. Three respiratory virus threats are on the rise across the nation – COVID-19, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and the seasonal flu. Call your primary care physician for any questions if you are unsure about your current vaccination status. The CDC estimates more than 25 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations, and 17,000 deaths from flu so far this season. In addition, the CDC COVID data tracker shows that the U.S. averaged more than 47,000 new COVID-19 infections every day during the week ending January 18, 2023. More than one million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, since the deadliest pandemic in American history began, and the COVID Racial Data Tracker shows COVID has been particularly deadly for people of color including Black, Indigenous and Hispanic Americans. Statistics show Black people die of COVID at twice the rate of white people.
  4. Talk to a licensed health plan broker or agent about Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) if you are one of the nation's 7.5 million Medicare beneficiaries dually eligible as Medicaid beneficiaries by virtue of age or disability and low income. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that just 4.1 million dually eligible beneficiaries (54.7%) are presently enrolled in a D-SNP even though these plans may offer additional benefits and most of the costs of joining the Medicare SNP may be covered if you have Medicare and Medicaid.
  5. Learn more about Medicare Advantage Chronic Condition Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs) from a licensed health plan broker or agent. Patients are eligible if they are one of the 46.9 million Medicare beneficiaries (80%) diagnosed as having at least one chronic condition or among the 39.8 million Medicare beneficiaries (68%) diagnosed with two or more chronic conditions. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, just 400,000 Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled in a C-SNP plan geared specifically toward their disease-specific health needs. Medicare SNPs may also cover extra services tailored to the special groups they serve, like extra days in the hospital. Seniors can enroll at any time for C-SNPs (once you join, your chance to make changes ends until open enrollment, unless another special enrollment period applies) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) accepts applications for C-SNPs focused on five multi-condition groupings: diabetes mellitus and chronic heart failure; chronic heart failure and cardiovascular disorders; diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disorders; diabetes mellitus, chronic heart failure, and cardiovascular disorders; plus stroke and cardiovascular disorders.

"ChenMed's average patient is 72 years of age and lives with five major and chronic conditions, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and/or arthritis," said Faisel Syed, M.D., ChenMed National Director of Primary Care. "This would be a challenge even if affordable, quality healthcare was readily available. However, there is a significant long-term impact from the healthcare deserts faced by seniors living in the underserved neighborhoods. More than 120 Chen, Dedicated and JenCare Senior Medical Centers are transforming care of the neediest populations in 15 states, including offering life-saving vaccinations."

In addition, ChenMed's primary care physicians (PCPs) generally have 75% fewer patients in their care than other physicians and meet with those patients on average once a month. That allows them to build trust, which encourages patients to engage in primary care and adhere to care plans.

"Our doctors focus on earning trust during every patient call or visit, and on providing highly personalized care," adds Dr. Syed. "Plus, our VIP service includes having patient advocates in every ChenMed center who can help patients navigate the D-SNP and C-SNP health insurance plans and where to find free community resources. All of this helps patients enjoy better health. And who wouldn't want to start the new year off healthier?"

Dr. Syed and the ChenMed team of doctors also recommend seniors incorporate other daily healthy habits to help strengthen the body and mind, including getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day; getting plenty of sleep; using breathing, meditation, and other tricks to reduce stress; maintaining a healthy body weight; and leaning into a whole-food diet rich in plant-based foods.

About ChenMed

ChenMed 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. Headquartered in Miami, the company operates more than 120 senior medical centers in 15 states. Twice named a "Most Loved Workplace" by Newsweek, celebrated as a Fortune "Change the World" company, and a certified Great Place to Work® by the Great Place to Work Institute, ChenMed brings concierge-style medicine and better health outcomes to the neediest populations. ChenMed brands include Chen Senior Medical Center, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, JenCare Senior Medical Center, and IntuneHealth. Its leading healthcare technology organization, Curity™, was recently named a "Best Place to Work in IT" by ComputerWorld.

ChenMed logo (PRNewsfoto/ChenMed)
ChenMed logo (PRNewsfoto/ChenMed)(PRNewswire)

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