Hospital System and Urgent Care Company Tackle Emergency Room Overcrowding and Misuse

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Colorado's largest health system and AfterOurs Urgent Care address overcrowded emergency rooms.

AfterOurs Urgent Care and HCA-HealthONE LLC have joined forces to address serious healthcare concerns of Denver-area patients: improving access to quality urgent care and reducing inappropriate use of emergency departments. HealthONE and AfterOurs will jointly locate medical services at a number of HealthONE clinics - beginning in Lower Downtown (LoDo) - in order to expand services to patients, particularly during evenings and weekends.

Recent and pending relocations of several hospitals out of Denver has exacerbated crowded conditions for Denver emergency rooms (ER), reducing overall capacity for growing numbers of patients and creating even longer wait times to see physicians. AfterOurs clinics have an average door-to-door treatment time of less than one hour (vs. three hours at an ER) and at less than half the cost of an emergency room visit - saving not only healthcare dollars, but also lost productivity for work-related injuries.

AfterOurs Urgent Care plans to open several new clinics in or near HealthONE Outpatient Clinics, beginning November 30, at the LoDo clinic, 1515 Wazee Street. The LoDo clinic will provide access to patients from 8 am to 1 a.m., 365 days a year by housing HealthONE primary care, occupational medicine and rehabilitation services with AfterOurs' Urgent Care urgent care and occupational medicine services. AfterOurs will take over the clinic at 5PM during the week and at 7AM on weekends and holidays, with reduced hours only on Christmas day.

"This is especially good news for people who struggle to find medical care after their doctor's office or most urgent care centers have closed," says Chris Rehm, President and Executive Director of AfterOurs. "Additionally, board-certified physicians staff AfterOurs clinics and direct care for all of our patients during those extended evening and weekend hours."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated as much as 50% of ER visits could be seen in a physician's office or an urgent care center - more quickly and at much less cost to the patient and health plan. Since each HealthONE / AfterOurs Urgent Care site will create access and capacity for up to 12,000 patients per year, these organizations can really make a difference.

Mayor John Hickenlooper enthusiastically congratulated HealthONE and AfterOurs on their partnership. "This collaboration-and urgent care in general-increase our access to quality healthcare and reduce unnecessary emergency-room visits, saving time and money for residents, employers, and insurers."

Dr. Alan Burgess, Medical Director for HealthONE Clinic Services, adds: "HealthONE is committed to expanding access to quality care not only in our hospitals, but also across our outpatient sites. Working with AfterOurs makes complete sense: While most urgent care centers don't stay open past 8 p.m. and many don't staff with physicians, AfterOurs does both. Our patients and the community win."

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Jennifer Rehm

Leslie Horna
HealthONE
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