News & Press: Urgent Care News

Joint venture expands urgent care operations for OSF HealthCare in Rockford area

Wednesday, November 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: rrstar.com
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Physicians Immediate Care, which has five local clinics, and OSF HealthCare, which operates two immediate care clinics, have formed a joint venture to steer patients to urgent care facilities for lesser ailments instead of the costlier hospital emergency department.

Another upside: Physicians Immediate Care patients likely would get faster access to specialized services offered through OSF HealthCare, which would benefit from the referrals.

It’s not just a cost savings for the hospital, said Dr. Michael Kouimelis, director of primary care for the northern region for OSF. OSF HealthCare operates OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.

“The issue is really the patient ... getting the right care at the right time,” Kouimelis said. “Co-pays for the ER are huge compared to immediate care.”

The average charge for an emergency room visit at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center is $4,621. During fiscal 2017, which ended Sept. 30, the emergency department recorded 40,653 visits, according to OSF HealthCare.

Ear infections, fever, flu and colds, allergic reactions, animal bites, sprains, and foreign object removal are the type of problems best suited for urgent care, according to PhysiciansImmediateCare.com. Loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, a heart attack and uncontrolled bleeding are best handled by an emergency department.

OSF HealthCare will continue to operate its own immediate care clinic at OSF Center for Health-Rock Cut at 9951 Rock Cut Crossing in Loves Park. And it will open another immediate care clinic this spring under its name on its medical center property at 5666 E. State St.

Physicians Immediate Care — which will be rebranded as Physicians Immediate Care, an independent affiliate of OSF HealthCare — has five area locations: 6595 E. State St. and 3475 S. Alpine Road, Rockford; 11475 N. Second St., Machesney Park; 1000 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park; and 1663 Belvidere Road, Belvidere. The Belvidere site will absorb an OSF HealthCare immediate care office across the street later this month, though other operations in that building will remain.

The Physicians Immediate Care clinics are open seven days a week, at least 12 hours a day, with no appointment needed.

“This partnership will enable us to continue to improve access to care and serve the needs of those for whom cost and convenience are a significant consideration,” Kouimelis said.

Physicians Immediate Care is based in Rockford and Rosemont and is the Midwest leader in urgent care and occupational health services with 42 locations in Illinois and Indiana. Its occupational health services include working with employers on workers compensation injuries and offering pre-employment drug testing.

The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine ranked Physicians Immediate Care this year 15th among the 100 largest urgent care center operators in the nation with regard to number of locations. OSF HealthCare is based in Peoria.

No money is being exchanged in the joint venture affiliation.

Todd Vang, chief operating officer of Physicians Immediate Care, said its affiliation with OSF HealthCare offers a “full network so (patients) can get a full range of care.”

For example, he said patients of the urgent care operation who need a referral for an MRI or for orthopedic services might find it “much quicker” to go through OSF HealthCare than other providers because of the affiliation and because of easy sharing of medical records.

Georgette Braun: 815-987-1331; gbraun@rrstar.com; @GeorgetteBraun

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