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Jax Daily Record Monday, Oct. 18, 202105:00 AM EST

ChenMed expects 8 area medical offices by early 2022

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The provider’s sixth location will open in December along Blanding Boulevard.

ChenMed Dedicated Senior Medical Centers is adding a sixth, followed by a seventh and eighth,  Jacksonville location after opening three in 2018 and starting development on two more.

Miami-based ChenMed expects to have eight area offices open by the first quarter of 2022.

ChenMed.com says it is a primary care-led group practice that serves low- to moderate-income patients with an average age of 72 through the Medicare Advantage program. 

The company said it chooses its locations based on need.

Services include specialist medical care providers, pharmaceutical services, preventive health care counseling and management of chronic conditions. 

“ChenMed/Dedicated Senior Medical Center remains a hyper-growth company,” ChenMed said Oct. 5 in an emailed statement.

ChenMed’s first three Duval County medical centers are at 3059 Edgewood Ave. W. in Northwest Jacksonville; 6841 Blanding Blvd. in Southwest Jacksonville; and 9422 Arlington Expressway in the Regency area.

ChenMed expects to open two more in late 2021 at a former Walgreens pharmacy at 1220 University Blvd. N. in Arlington and 8000 Lem Turner Road in Northwest Jacksonville.

For the sixth, ChenMed applied for permits to demolish the interior and build out space at 3614 and 3620 Blanding Blvd. in the Cedar Hills shopping center in West Jacksonville.

CBJ Construction Inc. of Dania Beach intends to demolish the interior space at a cost of  $22,576 and to remodel 13,213 square feet for ChenMed at $925,860. 

The Blanding locations are about 3 miles apart.

Through the Oct. 5 emailed statement, Hermena Cerphy-Firmin, regional chief medical officer for Dedicated Senior Medical Centers in Jacksonville, Orlando and Lakeland, said the center is on track to open Dec. 6 and that the first of several primary care physicians has “completed on-boarding.”

She said the office “is being expedited to transform care in another underserved Jacksonville neighborhood.”

Cerphy-Firmin said it is “one of three additional Dedicated Jacksonville centers for our medical practice’s rapidly expanding service area.”

The company did not disclose the locations of the next two that are expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.

“We are happy with the hypergrowth that we have undergone in the past few years, even during the pandemic,”  Cerphy-Firmin said in a previous interview.

The company has grown to more than 75 locations in 11 states since it started more than 35 years ago and expects to have 90 centers in 12 states by year-end.

“Our model is high-touch primary care for the underserved neighborhoods, primarily Medicare Advantage seniors,” she said.

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow rules set by Medicare.

Cerphy-Firmin said ChenMed works with more than 20 plans nationwide.

James Chen, a Taiwanese immigrant and cancer survivor, founded ChenMed.

ChenMed estimates it expects more than 100 employees with the first five Jacksonville locations, indicating 20 per center. That indicates eight centers would need 160 employees.

Cerphy-Firmin said previously that ChenMed opens its centers with clinical and operational teams. 

“Dedicated continues to aggressively recruit outstanding primary care doctors – especially since the affordable VIP care that Dedicated provides continues to be optimized by physician-led teams serving a maximum of just 400 or 450 patients,” she said Oct. 5.

“This is less than one-fifth the average number of patients seen by family medicine and internal medicine doctors nationwide - 2,300 to 3,000 patients.”

Cerphy-Firmin said office hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and there is a physician on call at other times.

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