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In Miami, Medicare comes with white-glove treatment


The scene at Leon Medical Centers’ Healthy Living Facility in Miami on a recent Thursday resembled a cross between a luxury hotel and a theme park.

White-gloved doormen wearing porter uniforms ushered elderly patients from white vans into a gleaming lobby with colored terrazzo floors and a bubbling fountain. Greeters in green vests and ear bud radios welcomed the Medicare members and made sure their doctors knew that they’d arrived. Refreshments were proffered: Would they like a cafecito and pastelito for the wait?

And that was just the entranceway. Three more floors of the sprawling center bustled with Leon members meeting with physicians or dentists, taking healthy cooking classes, exercising in the fitness center or learning to use Facebook in a lecture hall.

It’s a one-stop shopping approach for healthcare based on a level of customer service and attention that, members tell the federal government, sets Leon Medical Centers apart in the highly-lucrative and super-competitive world of South Florida’s privately managed Medicare plans, or Medicare Advantage.

As the country grapples with far-reaching challenges in healthcare, companies like Leon are carving out a niche that is increasingly popular with Medicare beneficiaries — and demonstrating improvements in customer satisfaction and medical outcomes that translate into bigger profits.

More here.