When suffering from pink eye or a host of other conditions a trip to Meijer at 5121 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage may not be your first thought, but Bronson wants to change that.
Beginning April 1, Bronson FastCare will bring basic health care services to the retailer. Medical care for minor conditions and symptoms will be offered. Some that can be treated are
sore throats, fevers, flu and colds, ear and sinus infections, pink eye, skin rashes and allergies. Lab services are available for pregnancy tests, monospots, rapid strep and urinalysis. (For a full list of treatments and lab services, visit here.)
"Bronson FastCare is a great new resource that serves everyone regardless of whether or not they have insurance or their own primary care doctor," says says John Jones, Jr., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Bronson Medical Practices. "It is designed to help all people who have minor health concerns get the care they need quickly, affordably and with maximum convenience."
The FastCare model of clinics inside a retail establishment was pioneered by Belin Health in 2006. The clinics have a well-defined and limited scope of clinical services, a system for referring patients to physicians when symptoms exceed the clinic’s scope of services, and integration of electronic medical records. They also develop treatment plans that are based on the evidence before them.
Bronson FastCare takes walk-in patients only, but waits are expected to be non-existent or minimal. Should there be a delay, silent pagers are available for use in the store to alert the patient when the provider is ready.
The FastCare clinic is open to everyone. Care is provided by licensed nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They work under the guidance of emergency medicine physicians with Southwestern Michigan Emergency Services, the same group that staffs the emergency departments at Bronson hospitals in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Paw Paw.
A report following each visit can be sent to a patient’s primary care doctor. If a patient arrives with symptoms that exceed the scope of services, the patient will be referred to another Bronson facility that can handle that condition.
The service accepts most insurance plans and office visit co-pays apply. For those with a high deductible plan or no insurance, a visit is $69, including lab service.
"At Bronson, we are always looking for ways to improve access to healthcare services,” says Jones. "That means making sure we are doing all we can to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time."
Source: Candice Elders, Bronson