Geisinger 65 Forward redesigning primary care in NEPA
Geisinger President and CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu; Associate Vice President for Primary Care Services JuliAnn Molecavage; and Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center Kingston physician Dr. James Tricarico discuss how 65 Forward is changing primary care in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Now open at 499 Wyoming Ave. in Kingston, the Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center is a redesigned space bringing together under one roof all of the health care components those 65 and over frequently need. Available to Geisinger Gold (Medicare Advantage) members, 65 Forward offers longer doctor’s visits and access to wellness activities in a relaxing environment. A second 65 Forward location is set to open in Scranton this October.
65 Forward members have more time with their doctor, with appointment times of up to one hour, allowing for longer visits to discuss and explain care. Members have access to a team of health care professionals, including nurses, nutritionists and a personal health care advocate who can assist with coordinating care between specialists, hospitals and insurance.
“The 65 Forward program is bringing concierge-type primary care to our patients and members, custom created for those who are 65 and older,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger president and chief executive officer. “This type of program is the only one of its kind in our area, bringing together top-notch primary care, along with a VIP, senior-focused experience, as well as wellness and social activities, all housed within the center. We know that this approach will make health easier for our Geisinger Gold members by creating a different access point directly in our communities.”
By bringing a comprehensive set of the most-used health services by Geisinger Gold members into one location, 65 Forward enrollees have access to lab services, X-ray services, behavioral health services, community support services, outpatient services and pharmacy home delivery all at one time. This can mean fewer trips to the emergency room or the hospital by managing health within the doctor’s office.
The 65 Forward Health Center is a hub for activity, featuring a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, space for exercise and wellness classes, and room for educational activities like cooking and arts and crafts. By offering a rotating set of events and activities, 65 Forward members can take advantage of the community-center atmosphere. Formally the home to the Geisinger Kingston primary care offices, the 5,500-square foot building underwent a nearly $3 million investment to become the 65 Forward Health Center.
“This program allows us to identify our patients’ health concerns upfront and give them the resources to better manage their health, and do so in a personalized setting,” said James Tricarico, D.O., physician at the Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center in Kingston. “By spending more time with patients and focusing on their overall health, we can help them live more active and social lives. The health center offers a rotating list of activities, focused on addressing the concerns of isolation and loneliness some people experience later in life.”
Primary care physicians with 65 Forward will see a maximum of 450 patients, compared to the national average of 2,500 to 3,000 patients per primary care physician. The more intimate patient experience means doctors can focus on early detection and discussion of possible health concerns and better care management of complex, chronic and other medical conditions.
According to Geisinger data, since early 2017, Geisinger Gold members who utilized longer appointment times with their primary care physicians saw 35,000 diagnoses resolved or removed from their health records. Additionally, the same patient population had 55,000 new diagnoses caught by their primary care physicians. With more time dedicated to care, members can see better health outcomes so they can spend more time enjoying life.
“We’re meeting our members where they are by offering comprehensive services all under one roof,” said Steven Youso, Geisinger Health Plan president and chief executive officer. “It’s programs like these that are creating better primary care experiences for our members and are what we need to do to improve health in our communities. This program shows how a team of health care professionals comes together to take care of our community in an innovative way.”
The 65 Forward program in Kingston is enrolling new patients. Those interested in enrolling can call 570-740-3096 or click here to learn more.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.