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5 hospitals, health systems investing in express care

U.S. health systems are looking for ways to improve the overall health of the communities they serve while cutting costs. One popular trend in healthcare to handle these seemingly competing interests is to invest in a network of primary care, urgent care or other express care sites.

Investing  in primary care or other express care sites could be the key to lowering costs, improving patient satisfaction and reducing hospitalizations and 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 services.

Below are five hospitals or health systems investing in primary care sites reported by Becker's Hospital Review since Jan. 1:

1. HCA acquires 24 urgent care centers
Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare purchased 24 MedSpring urgent care centers from Fresenius Medical Care, a network of dialysis and outpatient centers.

2. New York hospital acquires 2 family medicine practices
Wyoming County Community Health System in Warsaw, N.Y., is continuing its expansion of family services with the acquisition of two medical practices focused on primary care. 

3. Tampa General teams up with urgent care provider
Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital is partnering with Fast Track Urgent Care to operate 10 urgent care clinics in the state. 

4. UHS invests in primary care company
King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services is partnering with Vera Whole Health, a Seattle-based primary care company, to improve health outcomes of its health plan members. UHS said the partnership will allow it to "add advanced primary care services" to its network of more than 350 hospitals and behavioral health facilities.

5. Advocate Aurora Health, Oak Street Health partner on primary clinic for Medicare patients
Milwaukee-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Oak Street Health to open a primary care clinic in Elgin, Ill.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:
U of Louisville won't buy Jewish Hospital from CHI
Quorum to divest California hospital
HCA acquires 24 urgent care centers

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