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Archive for Friday, September 19, 2008

New clinic provides health care options for Lawrence area residents

When it comes to health care, Lawrence residents now have another option. A new walk-in clinic is open inside the Walgreens store at 6th and Kasold Streets.

September 19, 2008

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On the street

What do you do when you can’t get in to see your doctor?

It depends how urgent the need is, but I would try to see if they had someone else who could see me or could suggest somewhere else I could go.

More responses

Feeling sick and don't have a doctor?

Or perhaps your doctor's office is closed or you can't get an appointment until the next day.

Besides going to a hospital emergency room, there's now another option to get basic health care.

Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens, opened its first Take Care Clinic in Lawrence. It's inside the Walgreens at Sixth Street and Kasold Drive and is staffed by nurse practitioners. They focus on diagnosis and treatment of common family illnesses and can give vaccinations, physicals, screenings and referrals.

"We are primarily here to provide high-quality care to individuals who have acute illnesses and may not be able to get into their primary doctor's offices that day or may not have one," said Diana Graves, lead nurse practitioner in Kansas for Take Care Health Systems. "Forty percent of our patients say they don't have a primary care provider."

The clinic doesn't require an appointment - just sign in at one of two kiosks. The clinic accepts most insurance plans and will see any patient older than 18 months. It's also open seven days a week; it will close only for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Don Hansen, Lawrence, used the clinic on Tuesday; he had a sinus infection. Hansen said the sign-in process took about five minutes and then he got right in. It was his first visit to the Lawrence clinic, but he has used the Take Care Clinic in Olathe a couple of times.

Why does he use them? Convenience.

"I'm not a real patient person," he said. "You don't have to make an appointment, and there's not much of a wait."

Having a pharmacy just a few steps away also is convenient and Hansen used it Tuesday, but Graves said patients can fill their prescriptions where they want.

Hansen also likes the service.

"They've always taken care of me," he said.

Carrie Werst, a nurse practitioner at the Lawrence clinic, said the nurses go over each patient's medical history and collaborate with other doctors. She worked one year at a Take Care Clinic in Topeka before joining the staff in Lawrence.

"I think we provide high-quality care compared to others," she said.

So far, about 100 people have used the clinic in Lawrence, but Werst expects business to increase as word spreads and the flu vaccination season begins. The clinic will be offering the shots starting Oct. 1. Graves said medical assistants and other staff would be added if needed.

Take Care Health Systems opened its first clinic in November 2005 and since then has opened 227 in 15 states and served 675,000 patients. There are 13 in the Kansas City metropolitan area, two in Topeka and six in Wichita.

Comments

Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

This would be alright if you were in any way qualified to diagnose yourself. Then again, it's probably just as easily turned into a dispensary to abuse prescription medication.

Ryan Neuhofel 6 years, 3 months ago

I believe this concept will be wildly successful in the current mess we call a health care "system" - controlled by insurance giants and bureaucrats. These "quick and easy clinics" will be supported by people who pay cash - the uninsured or people looking for value in their dollar (HSAs, high-deductible plans, etc.). Unfortunately, acute care visits (antibiotic vending machines) to a mid-level provider (NP or PA) will not replace a good relationship with a primary care PHYSICIAN for complicated diagnosis or long-term disease management. Honestly, primary care (which is what 80% of society exclusively needs) shouldn't even require a middle-man (insurance) rationing (mostly denying) your care. Insurance only increases overhead costs and promotes inflation - and makes insurance CEOs wildly rich. Direct-medical practices (aka, third-party free, retainer, patient-centered, etc.) combined with high-deductible health plans (+ HSAs) are the real answer.

Centerville 6 years, 3 months ago

There are people who don't know that it's perfectly legal to shop around and pay cash for medical and dental. And, it's a lot cheaper because the physician doesn't have to utilize an office-full of people to get payment from an insurance company or from the government.Get an HSA, pay cash for a high-deductible plan and routine medical and you'll find that there's a lot less hassle and you can get an appointment pronto.

akt2 6 years, 3 months ago

They will be swamped it they take Medicaid. First Med and Prompt Care do not. Hopefully that will take some pressure off of the ER.

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