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Beaumont to build 30 urgent care centers in metro Detroit

Beaumont Health has signed an agreement with Atlanta-based WellStreet Urgent Care to finance and open up to 30 urgent care centers in metro Detroit by the end of 2019.

The announcement comes on the heels of Crain’sthis week reporting that Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center and Ascension Health Michigan are investing more into ambulatory and urgent care. Because of patient and employer demand for lower costs and more convenient locations and health insurers’ reimbursement policies, health systems, physicians and corporations are building more outpatient sites.

Beaumont said several urgent care centers — expected to range in size from 4,000 to 5,000 square feet — will open later this year and early next year at unspecified locations. Officials said site selection is underway, but they will be located in high-traffic areas, near high-volume emergency centers, large employers and commercially dense areas.

“This comprehensive network of urgent care centers will help lower the cost of health care for consumers and employers and will be backed by the Beaumont brand, standards and quality,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said in a statement. “We are working closely with WellStreet, which has expertise running highly efficient and patient-focused urgent care centers. We want to serve our patients and families by providing the right level of quality care on their terms, with easy access at lower cost.”

Fox said the urgent care centers will be connected with Beaumont’s Epic electronic health record system.

“We want to make it easy for people to take charge of their health by providing quick and convenient access to care,” Beaumont Chief Medical Officer David Wood, M.D., said in a statement. “When patients come to our urgent care centers, we will notify their primary care physician and share clinical information. We know it’s critically important for primary care doctors to be notified when their patients seek medical attention. Urgent care is not a substitute for primary care.”

WellStreet Urgent Care has developed similar partnerships with other health systems, said Lee Resnick, WellStreet’s chief medical officer. WellStreet opened its first urgent center in 2011 and signed a network affiliation contract in 2014 with Piedmont Health System in the Atlanta area.

Beaumont COO Carolyn Wilson, R.N., said the health system discussed with its physicians whether to build out more urgent care systems and the consensus was to partner with an established provider. Beaumont currently operates just one urgent care center in West Bloomfield. It operates several multi-specialty ambulatory care centers and specialty clinics and a total of 187 physician offices.

“We are excited to be in a partnership with WellStreet” and its second health system partner, Wilson said. “Beaumont takes its brand seriously and partnering makes sense. Lee Resnick is a physician and has been involved in urgent care” for many years.

John Kerndl, Beaumont’s CFO, said Beaumont and WellStreet will jointly finance the centers, possible leases and property purchases on a 50-50 basis. Each center will vary in size and services, but the average center will cost about $1 million and attract an average of 30 patients per day after three years of operation.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from big employers on true urgent care networks,” said Kerndl, adding that employer needs will factor very highly in site selection and service delivery decisions.

“We hear from our own patient base about same day care and also connecting the 40 percent of patients who don’t have their own physician with urgent cares,” Kerndl said.

As one of Michigan’s largest health system, Beaumont Health has total net revenue of $4.5 billion and includes eight hospitals with 3,429 beds, 187 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians and 38,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers.

 

Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on August 29, 2018.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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