MultiCare providers allege 'assembly line healthcare'

Providers at MultiCare's Indigo Urgent Care Clinics are raising concerns about alleged unsafe and "assembly line healthcare."

The providers are members of the Union of American Physicians & Dentists. They contend that there is increased pressure on physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to spend no more than 15 minutes with each patient.

"This kind of healthcare is not safe for the patients or the providers," Stuart Bussey, MD, a physician in private practice and president of the UAPD, said in an Aug. 14 union news release. 

"This is turning busy clinics into a healthcare sweatshop," he added.

Union members also claim that urgent care clinics are becoming mini "emergency rooms" amid growing hospital emergency room wait times, resulting in patients seeking more complex care at urgent care clinics.

Their concerns come as providers are bargaining for a new contract with Tacoma, Wash.-based MultiCare. The UAPD, which represents about 85 Indigo providers, has scheduled picketing this week at urgent care locations.

MultiCare shared the following statement with Becker's: "MultiCare Health System remains committed to bargaining in good faith with UAPD with the goal of reaching a fair contract that supports a safe, equitable and economically sustainable workplace.

"MultiCare has been negotiating with UAPD since last November, and we believe the best way to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties is at the bargaining table. MultiCare has proposed a competitive wage and incentive package, including agreeing to several UAPD proposals. 

"Our top priority is a fair contract that supports staff as well as patients and the communities we serve." 

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