ChristianaCare to open Milford practices
MILFORD – ChristianaCare, the state’s largest health care system, is continuing its expansion efforts in southern Delaware, reaching the Milford area for the first time.
The health system announced Monday that it is opening a new primary care practice for families and a separate practice exclusively for members of the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Medicare Advantage plans developed last year in collaboration with ChristianaCare and Bayhealth. The two practices are slated to open in October in the same location at Teal Creek Plaza, located at 701 N. DuPont Blvd. in Milford.
The expansion to northern Sussex County comes just a few months after ChristianaCare announced a similar practice to open this fall in Rehoboth Beach.
ChristianaCare’s aplans comes at a time when Delaware’s hospital systems are turning their eyes to Sussex County, where a population explosion is raising the need for hospitals and doctors. State officials project the population of Sussex County is expected to increase by 12% by 2025, and the 65 and older population is expected to grow by 16% over the same period.
Beebe Healthcare and Bayhealth are both at the forefront of this arms race for expanding health care. Beebe recently opened a campus in Millville and a surgical hospital in Lewes, while Bayhealth opened a new hospital off Route 1 in Milford and is planning to open an emergency room in Harbeson.
Meanwhile, ChristianaCare, headquartered near Newark, has invested in expanding its footprint in the last decade, specifically concentrating on key growth areas. The health care system opened its Middletown emergency department in 2013, followed by a neighboring primary care office. In early 2020, it also acquired Union Hospital in neighboring Elkton, Md., and now is proposing to enter the southern Pennsylvania market in a deal to acquire Crozer Health hospitals.
“ChristianaCare is on a mission to provide the right care, at the right place for everyone we are privileged to serve,” said Dr. Christine Donohue Henry, ChristianaCare’s chief population health officer, said in a statement announcing the Milford project. “This includes identifying communities that need primary and specialty care services as well as services for those 65 and older, ensuring they have access to high-quality, convenient health care. We are excited to open this dual practice site and offer families and seniors truly exceptional care.”
The approximately 10,000-square-foot practice site in Milford will house both the traditional primary care practice and an innovative model of care for the members of the Highmark Medicare Advantage plans. Patients will be able to have in-person visits with providers as well as the opportunity to connect virtually with specialists throughout ChristianaCare’s network of services.
The Highmark Medicare Advantage plan practice will exclusively serve those who are 65 or older and a member of the plan, which includes benefits over traditional Medicare and works with the ChristianaCare and Bayhealth systems.
“This new care model will serve the unique needs of the Highmark Medicare Advantage members,” said Dr. Ina Li, ChristianaCare’s clinical director of advanced primary care, in a statement. “To support healthy aging, we will address acute and chronic health conditions, maintenance of mobility and functional status, nutrition, behavioral health and medication needs.”