7 health systems investing in express care sites

Health systems across the U.S. are looking for ways to improve the overall health of the communities they serve while simultaneously cutting costs. One of the popular trends emerging in the healthcare space to combat these seemingly competing incentives is an emphasis on primary care or other express care sites.

Driving investment in primary care or other express care sites could be the key to lowering costs, improving patient satisfaction and reducing hospitalizations or unnecessary emergency department visits, according to an op-ed published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Over the last few months, several health systems have announced their intent to expand their primary care or express care strategies.

Here is a breakdown of seven hospitals or health systems investing in primary care sites, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review since Jan. 1:

1. UC San Diego Health. UC San Diego Health plans to open more than 10 express and primary care sites over the next four years in an effort to increase patient access to providers. The sites will be spread across several California cities along public transit lines.

2. Novant Health (Winston-Salem, N.C.). In partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care, Novant Health will establish a large network of urgent care centers across North Carolina. The first phase of the project will include constructing 15 centers in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C.

3. Tower Health (West Reading, Pa.) Tower Health signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire Douglassville, Pa.-based Premier Urgent Care's 19 urgent care centers. Eighteen of the care locations are in Pennsylvania and one is in Delaware.

4. Iora Health (Boston). Teaming up with Humana, Iora Health will open 10 primary care clinics with a focus on Medicare patients across the U.S. The clinics will open in Tacoma, Wash., Tucson, Ariz., Phoenix and Atlanta.

5. Presbyterian Healthcare Services (Albuquerque, N.M.). The health system will open four retail-based clinics offering both emergency and urgent care by the end of 2019. The walk-in clinics will be opened in partnership with INtuitive Health to increase patient access to immediate care in an appropriate setting.

6. Beaumont Health (Southfield, Mich.). Through a partnership with Atlanta-based WellStreet Urgent Care, Beaumont Health will open as many as 30 urgent care centers in metro Detroit by the end of 2019. The decision is part of the health system's strategy to provide convenient and lower-cost care options for its patients. The centers will be in high-traffic areas, near high-volume emergency centers or commercially dense locations.

7. Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Spectrum Health opened its first retail-based clinic in a Meijer grocery store on July 12. It will offer non-emergent care to patients.

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