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Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Intuitive Health to Open Hybrid ER and Urgent Care Centers in Pacific Northwest

Innovative care model will reduce cost of care, ease strain on hospitals, and simplify care for patients

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health announced today it is partnering with Dallas-based Intuitive Health to bring multiple hybrid emergency room (ER) and urgent care centers to the Puget Sound region over the next four years. Construction on the first location, which will be the first dual ER and urgent care center in Washington state, will begin later this year.

“Our new hybrid ER and urgent care facilities will not only simplify the experience for our patients, ensuring they receive the right level of care, but will help to reduce the overall cost of care, including out-of-pocket expenses,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. “Bringing high-quality emergent and urgent care closer to our patients will also help alleviate some of the strain on our hospitals as we continue to experience increasing emergency department visits.”

By offering ER and urgent care under one roof, patients will no longer have to decide what level of care they need prior to arriving at the facility. A patient with an urgent or emergent need can simply present to the facility and a board-certified emergency physician will examine and triage them to the appropriate level of care based on their need. Patients are only billed for the level of services they actually receive, ultimately saving the patient money, time and peace of mind.

“Our dual ER and urgent care model puts the patient at the center of the care experience. These new facilities will expand Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s footprint in the community and increase patient access,” said Thom Herrmann, CEO of Intuitive Health. “We combine full-service emergency room expertise and the convenience of urgent care in a single, accessible, retail-sized facility with outstanding concierge-level customer service. By combining emergency and urgent care in the same location, we take away the need for patients to make complicated medical decisions. Just come to us and receive the right care, at the right price, close to home.”

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s hybrid ER/urgent care centers will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, equipped with onsite lab equipment and a radiology suite with X-ray and multi-slice CT scanners.

Studies show that patients in need of care will seek it nearly half of the time at the ER because they are open 24/7, and fill in the gaps when medical appointments are hard to find elsewhere. This is especially true for vulnerable populations. Fully staffed with highly-trained and board-certified emergency physicians, the hybrid ER and urgent care centers will treat both emergent and non-emergent conditions.


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