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Insurance a non-issue at other convenience care clinics

October 2, 2010
By Per Peterson

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center CEO Mary Maertens said Friday that the future Curaquick convenience urgent care center at Hy-Vee in Marshall will not differ insurance-wise from a trip to the hospital.

Earlier this week, Hy-Vee announced it will be partnering with Avera Marshall to add a clinic to the list of services available at the Marshall Hy-Vee store. The Curaquick Avera clinic will offer walk-in health care for common family illnesses and conditions.

Most insurance providers, Maertens said, treat convenience care clinics the same as they would visits to a traditional medical facility.

"Each payor, I think, looks at convenience medical care in one way -?most payors actually encourage using convenience care and have contractual relationships with the providers," Maertens said.

Maertens said, to her knowledge, there have been no insurance-related problems with other convenience health care settings. There are similar sites at Hy-Vee stores in South Dakota and Iowa.

Visits to the clinic will cost $59, with additional fees for lab work or vaccinations.

"Most payors would pay for this as they would pay for any other office visit. Of course, the co-pay or deductible will apply just like any other setting," Maertens said.

The clinic will be staffed by licensed nurse practitioners, who would work with specialists or other practitioners at Avera Marshall. Clinical nurse practitioners will write prescriptions if needed, which can be filled at the Hy-Vee pharmacy.

"There has been generally good success in all of these types of settings throughout their stores,"?Maertens said. "There's a Fastcare clinic in Aberdeen that has been very well-received by the community. It fills a unique niche. It's an important national trend in providing health care services because it affords another choice for health care. It's a nice option for common health care needs; the retail clinic can relieve pressure on emergency rooms and provides an option where people can get treatment for conditions that might otherwise worsen."

Health care services offered by Curaquick clinics range from vaccinations to treatment for allergies, joint pain, skin irritation and strep throat.

There is no date set for opening of the clinic.

Construction is expected to take six weeks or more.



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