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Local partnership addresses health disparities by offering personalized health care to patients

At the Dedicated Senior Medical Center in north Columbus, patients are considered "members."

COLUMBUS, Ohio — You may find it unheard of to have your doctor’s cell phone number so that you can call with questions or concerns.   

It is part of the standard of care in an effort to address health disparities that reveal life expectancy has increased among all population groups, but people of color suffer from more health problems and often die at a younger age.

At the Dedicated Senior Medical Center in north Columbus, patients are considered "members."

Membership is part of what’s called value-based care.  Dr. Patrick Callender and his team practice under a model that rewards with incentive payments for the quality of care they give to people with Medicare.  

Practitioners said it helps them identify medical issues and address them up front and monitor them.

“Our patients have phone numbers,” Dr. Callender said. “They can reach me anytime. And we have other options that we can reach out to the patient that can get into us."

Providers in these settings can diagnose and treat chronic conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure and treat them with a prevention focus.  

They work to help patients manage high-risk diseases and identify risks with more frequent visits.  Patients see their doctors, for example, more than once or twice a year.  Healthcare industry experts view frequent visits as better prevention for hospitalizations and decrease costly ER visits.

OhioHealth has three Dedicated Senior Medical primary care practices. Personalized care includes walk-in appointments, healthy lifestyle classes and unlimited visits.

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