Centerwell Senior Care

CenterWell Biloxi Strikes Right Balance for First Patient

White older female patient being interviewed with her male primary care physician

Paulette Hoffman and Dr. Tim Sanford at CenterWell Senior Primary Care in Biloxi, Miss.

“I found myself in an environment that is just right for seniors and for our care,” said 81-year-old Paulette Hoffman, a Humana Medicare Advantage member, after touring the new CenterWell Senior Primary Care Center in Biloxi, Miss.

The first thing Paulette noticed was the spacious waiting room with a welcoming staff and an activity center that opens the door to lots of possibilities for events and socials. She also noted the wider hallways, special chairs that covert to examination tables and the on-site lab.

CenterWell Biloxi’s first patient, Paulette was especially happy to see the comfortable, relaxed exam room with space for a table and chairs.

“I found that very inviting,” she said. “Because you could sit and talk to your doctor across the table.”

Then she met her primary care doctor, Tim Sanford, D.O.

“We opened up with discussions about my health and then talked about other things,” Paulette said. “And so, it was very relaxing.”

“It’s fantastic as a doctor,” Dr. Sanford said. “This concept of walking in the room, opening the door and knowing that I'm going to have time to sit down and get to know somebody, instead of being at the door and knowing I have limited time before I have to leave to go to the next patient.”

CenterWell’s senior-focused, value-based care model gives doctors and patients up to 50% more time during each appointment than a typical provider’s visit.

Dr. Sanford said this extra time gives him the flexibility to not just talk about necessary medical things, but also other topics on his patients’ minds, such as hobbies, interests and other issues. These conversations may reveal important information that will help his patients long-term.

“Anytime I'm evaluating a patient, I'm looking at what's going on now,” he said. “But I'm also thinking about next month, next year, three years, five years, 10 years, 15 years. And I'm trying to figure out what's going to be the best way to keep my patient happy, healthy and active. Having the time to do that – I cannot tell you how wonderful that is.”

A team-based approach to care means the patient and doctor are supported by medical assistants, nurse care coordinators, referral specialists, and others who ensure appropriate labs are drawn and medications are updated. As needed, patients are referred to specialists who share reports back to the CenterWell team, providing them the opportunity to review the results of those specialty visits – which is a relief to both Paulette and Dr. Sanford.

“It was so eye-opening, because before I could go to a specialist and perhaps they do not send the information to my primary care doctor. So this doctor does not know what that one has done,” Paulette said. “But this way they connect through CenterWell. I come in here, he knows all my medications, all the doctors that I've been to, and their different specialties, you know. He knows it all, and he’s been able to review and look at my records and understand my need.”

This communication relieves the patient of the burden to remember every single detail at appointments. Dr. Sanford appreciates the care team’s help in ensuring all records are accurate and up-to-date and having the time to review those records before an appointment.

“Typically, there is no time set aside to review records,” Dr. Sanford said. “Now I've got the time to take that information, read through it, sift through it, complement and add to what the patient and I talked about in the exam. Having that ability now, I can actually know what has gone on with the patient, what's going on now with the patient, and what needs to happen long-term to help them maintain that happy, healthy, active lifestyle.”

As part of Paulette’s new-patient appointment, Dr. Sanford conducted a balance test, something she’d never experienced before with a doctor. Seniors are at an increased risk for falling, and Dr. Sanford has time to conduct a series of balance tests with his patients to ensure they receive corrective therapy, if needed, to safely maneuver life.

Considering his patients’ quality of life, Dr. Sanford said: “I'm looking three or five years down the road where, if the natural progression is that their balance slowly gets to be not as good or their strength slowly diminishes, patients won’t be able to go and do the things they want to do.”

“I do enjoy good health,” Paulette said. “I want to make sure I stay this way. I want to continue aging properly, and he’s going to help me do that.”

 

CenterWell Senior Primary Care operates two centers on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Dr. Tim Sanford leads the care team in Biloxi, and his son, Dr. Mitch Sanford, leads the team at CenterWell Gulfport. Humana’s Primary Care Organization, which operates both the CenterWell Senior Primary Care and Conviva Care Center brands, serves approximately 295,000 members enrolled in many different Medicare health plans.

Visit CenterWell Senior Primary Care to learn more about our approach to value-based care and to find a clinic location near you.