OhioHealth announced Tuesday that it will be partnering with a geriatric-focused health-care company to bring three primary-care medical centers for seniors to underserved areas of Columbus.

The partnership with Florida-based ChenMed will include offices in North Columbus, the Hilltop and the Far East side that will largely serve patients with Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare-Medicaid plans. They will operate on a value-based-care model as opposed to a fee-for-service model, providing concierge-like services to include transportation, access to physicians' cellphone numbers and a one-stop shop for doctor visits, diagnostic testing and pharmacy access.

Michael Krouse, an OhioHealth senior vice president who oversees strategy and transformation, said planners drove around the city to determine areas where there was little primary-care access. 

"I've designated them deserts of primary care. If there's no real physician presence in them, then we need to come to them," he said. "The dignity of every individual is really at the heart of why we provide the care that we do."

Other onsite services will include cardiology, podiatry, acupuncture and healthy lifestyle classes.

The three centers are expected to amount to a $60 million investment. The initiative will bring around 100 jobs to Columbus, lease and remodel three 15,000-square-foot spaces (no addresses have been released yet) and allow seniors to save on health-care costs and spend more in their communities, said Dr. Guarov Dayal, ChenMed president of new markets and chief growth officer.

They are expected to open in the fall and serve up to 8,000 patients. A goal is to eventually add more locations to reach about 20,000 patients and a total investment of more than $200 million.

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