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November 1, 2012

Bassett doctor weighs in on trends in urgent care

(Continued)

Bassett has rebranded its urgent care facilities by calling them convenient care centers.

“That seemed more appropriate because that is what they are, convenient for the patients. We have made it even more convenient for our patients because they can now make appointments ahead of time,” Leinhart said. 

Huxtable-Hooker said the centers still take in walk-ins, but by scheduling ahead of time patients can avoid waiting in the waiting area for a long time. 

Bassett Healthcare Network has two centers, one in Oneonta and the other in Herkimer. Leinhart said the Herkimer site generally sees more patients than the Oneonta site, which he says averages 50 to 60 patients a day. 

A patient’s decision to go to an urgent care facility can sometimes be more cost-effective for both the consumer and insurance companies, according to Leinhart. There are generally higher co-pays and fees associated with having to go to a hospital, he explained. 

“It is hard to say whether or not it is the quickest option for patients because that depends on a lot of factors such as the time of day,” Leinhart said. “The ER is much busier at noon compared to say 7 a.m. There are not many alternatives, so it does at least provide patients with another option.”

Leinhart said if patients are unsure if urgent or convenient care is the right choice, they can call ahead of time to get help making that decision. 

Bassett’s new model of scheduling appointments has been well-received, according to Leinhart. 

“Those who can’t be accommodated by their primary doctor can schedule to come in and get similar care, but can get in much quicker,” he said. 

The Bassett doctor said he feels more people might go see a doctor if given an alternative to having to see a primary physician. 

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