JenCare brings better care for seniors under one roof.
Seniors have special care needs. They often have multiple conditions and take many medications. They may not be able to drive or ride the bus, so they have difficulty getting to their medical appointments. Many also live on a limited income and often must choose between buying medications or paying for food and bills. Add to that the complexity of navigating a confusing and fragmented healthcare system and these common concerns become even more of a burden on the health and wellbeing of seniors.
Many medical practices today are less sensitive and responsive to these extra needs of elderly patients. The typical doctor must see a large number of patients each day, which means that patients who are sick must wait for an appointment, or those who have questions may forget to ask them in the rush of their visit.
Patients who do not have consistent primary care may seek treatment in an urgent care center or emergency room, often waiting several hours to see a doctor who is not familiar with their medical history. If these patients also need to see a specialist – or more than one – communications between specialty and primary doctors can be brief, if it happens at all. This can lead to patients – especially very ill seniors – taking unnecessary medicines that can cause side effects that make them feel worse or possibly result in more medicine being prescribed.
JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers is helping to solve these problems. JenCare, which has three new centers serving the Louisville area, builds its centers in mostly underserved neighborhoods and provides primary and specialty care for those with limited access to a doctor, diagnostic services and medication. Many patients think of JenCare as their “medical home” where a full scope of their health needs is met right under one roof. The philosophy is simple: provide every person the highest quality healthcare and help them achieve their best outcomes.
It works like this: JenCare patients see their primary care doctor every month whether they are sick or well. They receive all routine preventive care at the center, including vision, dental and other check-ups. Patients also see their specialty doctors at the same office and are assisted by the same staff they see when they come in for their primary care visits. Because all doctors are in one location, they have access to a patient’s full medical record – and each other – which allows them to actually talk one-on-one about the patient and better coordinate his or her care.
Combined with additional services that include on-site diabetes counseling, nutritional support, acupuncture, exercise counseling, laboratory services, X-rays and pharmacy, patients who may have once gone underserved now have access to convenient, well-coordinated care that enhances their wellbeing. There is even a van that provides transportation for patients who need a ride to and from their appointments.
JenCare knows that patients are busy, too, and don’t have several hours to wait in a doctor’s office. So, JenCare has fined tuned its operational efficiency to the point that patients are usually seen within 20 minutes after arriving at the center. When patients arrive, they are greeted by JenCare’s friendly staff in an easy-to-enter office that is all on one floor. There is plenty of free parking with no garages or multiple-level parking decks to navigate. Patients can enjoy complimentary healthy snacks and beverages while they wait also. Walk-in appointments are offered daily, and every effort is made to ensure that patients see their own primary physician even when their visit is unscheduled.
Many prospective patients welcome the extra services and access to quality medical care at JenCare. They like the idea of seeing their doctor every month, getting their tests and medicines on site and even having a ride to the office when they need it.
However, they often worry about paying for it all, unsure if their insurance will cover this level of service or not. JenCare helps with that too by working with secondary insurance companies and traditional Medicare to offer as many of the available services as possible to each patient based on their coverage. JenCare also has on-site patient service specialists to help patients review their coverage and make sure they have the best plan for their individual needs. It’s medicine the way it was meant to be – helpful instead of a hassle; easy instead of complicated.
Belinda Setters, MD, is the medical director for JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers in Louisville.
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