In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is looming. Gordon Chen, MD, the chief medical officer of ChenMed, a family-owned company committed to delivering primary care to the oldest and most vulnerable patients in the United States, has a number of decisions to make. How can he continue the strong doctor-patient relationship that his company is known for during a pandemic? How can he keep his staff employed while adhering to the precautions set in place for the pandemic? Finally, should ChenMed pause its plans for expansion until the pandemic passes?
ChenMed turned the traditional model of primary health care on its head, opting for a value-based model rather than a traditional fee-for-service one. ChenMed’s new model has had exemplary results, and the company plans to expand. But the pandemic poses unique challenges for ChenMed and the vulnerable population it serves.
The case provides students with a deep look into many of the challenges of providing health care to older Americans. Students have the opportunity to learn how the United States pays for health care for older Americans, discuss the pros and cons of different models of health care, and finally, consider the very real-world implications of a pandemic for health care companies and their stakeholders.