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Anthem to open CareMore centers in Henrico

Anthem will introduce four new healthcare centers - including two in Henrico - to the Metro Richmond market in January.

The CareMore care centers will open in the Brook Run Shopping Center in northern Henrico; near the intersection of Parham Road and Patterson Avenue; on Midlothian Turnpike near Robious Road; and on Jahnke Road near Chippenham Hospital.

The centers will only accept Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare patients.

CareMore innovated a successful Medicare advantage plan to provide coverage and care for about 54,000 people in California, Arizona and Nevada. In 2011, the California-based CareMore Health Group was bought by Anthem’s parent company WellPoint, Inc.

“The key to understand is although we’re a health plan, we’re really a healthcare delivery system and that’s why we’re different,” said Dr. Michael Neiderer, regional medical officer for CareMore. “We come in with an entire approach of how to take care of patients and a lot of the emphasis that it is on is health maintenance and spending on a more robust benefit to maintain health than to take care of people in the hospital.”

CareMore care centers provide coordinated care plans for patients with multiple doctors and have specialized programs to help those with chronic conditions such as diabetes or congenital heart failure, said Linda Larue, general manager of CareMore for Virginia.

“There really is the care model in the concept of the team, how the team takes care of the patient, that really is so innovative and makes it so successful,” she said. “We don’t really have anything like that in Richmond.”

She emphasized that the services provided by the centers are holistic but do not replace the primary care physician’s role. CareMore’s services also include mental health programs and more social services, such as seminars on phone usage or Nifty After Fifty, a fitness program.

“If you can imagine going to your primary care doctor, you know in the world we live in today you may get 10 or 15 minutes with your doctor and sometimes that’s just not enough for this population of patients,” she said. “Enrollees may see their primary care doctor couple times but they can come to the care clinic as often as they want.”

The CareMore centers and model will have working relationships with the five HCA hospitals in the region, building on Anthem’s previous partnerships with them, Larue said. There also will be a network of associated local physicians.

When new patients visit one of the CareMore centers, they will sit with a physician or physician’s assistance to complete CareMore’s Healthy Start medical history evaluation, Neiderer said. Staff members then will put patients with chronic or preexisting conditions into programs to help monitor their progress.

“That makes it that much easier for the primary care physician when they finally meet their new patients,” he said. “We try to have that healthy start completed and that information to the primary care physician so that when they meet the patient they have that and it can save a lot of time and help them get to the patient more quickly.”

The centers are now hiring, according to CareMore’s official website, for offices in Brooklyn and Albany, N.Y. and the Richmond-area locations.

WellPoint and Anthem run Blue Cross Blue Shield in 14 states, with one in nine Americans receiving coverage from one of its affiliated plans, according to the WellPoint website.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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Reptiles Alive!, an exciting and educational introduction to all kinds of reptiles from all kinds of places, will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Henrico Theatre, 305… Full text

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