Southfield-based Beaumont Health Wednesday announced it has partnered with Atlanta’s WellStreet Urgent Care to open 30 urgent care centers throughout metro Detroit by the end of 2019.
Some of the centers are scheduled to open late this year and early next year. The first locations will be announced within the next few weeks.
“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,” says John Fox, CEO of Beaumont. “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.”
The network will connect to Beaumont’s electronic medical records, which currently stores 2.3 million active patient records, to enable better-coordinated patient care.
Urgent care centers near emergency rooms allow patients to be seen more quickly for minor injuries and illnesses at a reduced cost than a visit to an emergency room. Patients with more serious injuries can also be quickly transferred to emergency centers.
“We want to make it easy for people to take charge of their health by providing quick and convenient access to care,” says David Wood, chief medical officer at Beaumont. “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.”
Many consumers do not have a primary care doctor, so urgent care staff can find them a Beaumont-affiliated physician and make a follow-up appointment for the patient.
“More than 40 percent of consumers visiting an urgent care do not have a primary care physician,” says Fox. “One of our key goals will be to connect these patients with primary care physicians affiliated with the Beaumont clinically integrated network.”
WellStreet Urgent Care has operated similar networks in partnership with health systems.
“Providers in the centers will have experience and specialized training in urgent care, so consumers can have confidence the care they receive emphasizes quality and safety,” says Lee Resnick, chief medical officer for WellStreet. “In addition, the modern facilities will create a warm and comfortable care environment.”
Patients will be able to make appointments online, and evening and weekend visits are available. Typical visits will be completed in less than 50 minutes.
Beaumont Urgent Care is in the process of selecting locations in high-traffic areas such as those near high-volume emergency centers, large employers, and commercially dense areas.
Urgent care centers are most appropriate for a cough, cold, or sore through; rashes or skin irritations; fever or flu-like symptoms; minor lacerations; minor orthopedic injuries; and mild intestinal illnesses.
Patients experiencing signs of a heart attack, stroke, or other serious or life-threatening symptoms should go directly to an emergency room or call 911.
Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system.