South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer has announced plans to offer urgent care services. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Theresa Davis)
On Tuesday, April 10, South Lincoln Medical Center announced plans to open an urgent care and advanced access clinic in Kemmerer.
“Nationwide, patients, insurance plans, and employers alike are looking to align healthcare services to the right place of care in order to lower costs,” said South Lincoln Medical Center CEO Karl Sundberg. “Our goal is to use our existing building resources, with minimal renovations which will allow us to see patients in an urgent care setting. This will ultimately benefit our community through lower charges to patients to see a provider and will provide greater convenience to patients, since care will be available on a walk-in basis.”
The concept of an advanced access clinic is well-established in urban areas throughout the United States, even if the title isn’t. These types of clinics are full service family medicine practices, treating and managing both chronic, and acute illnesses or injuries.
Pairing this type of clinic alongside an urgent care allows the best of both worlds; to both manage urgent illnesses or injuries that don’t rise to the level of an ER visit, as well as provide convenience to patients to see a primary care provider with either same-day scheduling, or walk-in service, all while maintaining the patient-centered medical home model of care. Although firm plans are still being developed, current plans are for the clinic to be open Mon-Sat, 12 hours per day, opening late morning, and staying open into the evening.
“By no means is the urgent care intended to replace either our clinic nor our emergency department services,” Sundberg said. “Rather, this new care resource is intended to align care to the right service area, with the right type of provider, at the right cost. For example, a person with private insurance coming to the emergency room for a minor laceration or a broken arm may incur charges upwards of $1,000 with a $250 copay, depending on care rendered and insurance plan. Comparing the same visit in an Urgent Care environment might cost as little as $400 to $500 with a $75 copay depending on care rendered and insurance plan.”