Business Profile: AgeWell makes time for seniors’ medical needs

By Anthony Welch

Under the visionary leadership and direction of Dr. Jeffrey Kulp, AgeWell Medical Associates, 2350 International Circle, strives to offer innovative patient-centered care to meet the increasing demand for primary care services in the Colorado Springs area.

The private clinic’s model for primary care for older adults is built on a team-based approach, according to Kulp.

More importantly, however, AgeWell prides itself on making time for its patients.

“I hear from our patients that they’re told by other providers that Medicare limits the encounter to 10-12 minutes and you get one complaint. If you have other complaints, you have to make another appointment,” Kulp said. “We take time with our patients. Older people move slower, respond slower and have more health conditions and it tends to take longer to see them. We allot whatever time is necessary to cover all the issues. I think that sets us apart.”

The clinic was built from the ground up in 2012. Meanwhile, Kulp, whose practiced medicine for nearly 40 years, has worked in Colorado Springs since 1990. He’s worked in private practice since 1997 and was formerly at, what was then, the Memorial Senior Health Center.

“My practice has been primary care for seniors the entire time I’ve been in Colorado Springs,” he said. “It seemed a natural thing to focus on older adults. Now that I’ve been in it for 30 years, it’s definitely different than general internal medicine.”

AgeWell’s nurse practitioners are primary care providers and see their own patients. They can diagnose, develop a treatment plan, prescribe medications, order tests and refer out to specialists when needed. Nurse practitioners work collaboratively with Kulp and consult him as needed. AgeWell is currently recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

The PCMH concept equips primary care practices to do their part in achieving the “triple aim” of health care reform – better patient experience, population health and reduced costs.

“We’re attuned to seniors and their unique needs. I think we’re better equipped to serve the senior population,” Kulp added.

He said he hears from patients that other care providers often site getting older when patients express concern. AgeWell goes well beyond that with its care, Kulp mentioned.

“We don’t attribute anything to advancing age. We like to look for an explanation for it,” he said. “Older people live independently and functioning at their highest potential as long as possible. Our patients want to continue living independently and be well and enjoy whatever it is they enjoy doing.”

Housed inside the AgeWell building are not only patient rooms, but a classroom as well. It’s been used for weight loss classes, team meetings, cannabis classes and chronic disease management classes, according to Practice Manager Lori Trivelli

“That’s been a neat thing to have. I’ve really liked having the classroom,” she said.

For Kulp, personally, he enjoys meeting seniors and hearing their stories.

“Everybody has a story. I think if we were in a hurry to see our patients, we would miss that part,” he said. “We would never really know anything about what they’ve done or where they’ve been. Our responsibility is to know about their health, but it’s also really important and valuable to know who these people have been in their lives and what they have accomplished.”

For more on AgeWell, visit www.agewellmedical.com.

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