Oak Street Health Finds Niche Focusing on Bronzeville Seniors on Medicare

Oak Street Health opened a new location in Bronzeville Tuesday, the most recent location in a rapid expansion of the six clinics in the last year.
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BRONZEVILLE — Oak Street Health unveiled a new clinic for seniors in Bronzeville on Tuesday.

The clinic at 4318 S. State St. will treat 2,500 patients and is the fourth new clinic opened in the last year by the startup.

“Our goal is to do primary care, preventative medicine,” said Mike Pykosz, CEO of the Chicago-based clinic that opened its first clinic in Edgewater a year ago.

The clinic has a very clear and simple model: only treat seniors, only provide basic preventative medicine.

Pykosz said changes in to the market from the Affordable Care Act opened up a niche for treating Medicare patients and focusing on reducing hospitalization through preventative care.

“This model was created because there was a need in the community and in the system,” Pykosz said.

He said the clinic’s patients are 35 percent less likely to end up in the hospital than the average senior and keep showing up for visits because of the focus on friendly staff.

Instead of investing in specialized technicians, Oak Street Health has hired staff to help patients navigate the maze of Medicare and keep them engaged between visits.

“I consider myself a relatively smart person and Medicare should not be this difficult,” said Charise Williams, who organizes exercise classes, computer classes and other activities in the clinic’s community room and has also tried navigating Medicare claims for relatives.

The clinic currently has one doctor on staff and will soon expand to four physicians and a dentist.

The Bronzeville location is the fifth location opened by Oak Street Health, which plans to open a sixth location by the end of the year.

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