Urgent care clinics continue to open across the Quad Cities

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 2:55 PM CST
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More clinics continue to open up around the Quad Cities because of a need for more easy access.

According to Genesis, six new services have opened around the QCA in the last six months, including convenient care clinics. UnityPoint Health also continues to open more Express Care locations.

Officials with UnityPoint say the demand for these types of ‘convenient care’ clinics is high.

“One of the reasons why is a lot of patients around town do not have a primary care physician anymore. And so their place where they access care is an urgent care like this,” Matt Behrens, the Regional Vice President of Clinic Operations at UnityPoint Clinic.

According to Behrens, the goal of these types of clinics is to encourage patients who don’t need to go to an emergency room not to. He said 20 to 30 percent of emergency room visits in the Quad Cities are unnecessary.

“We have a lot more people that show up at the emergency department that have flu or those types of symptoms. Once you enter into an emergency department, that's where you're seen at. There are laws that don't allow us to refer someone to a lower level of care, so you have to see that patient,” Behrens said, “There's no doubt if someone doesn't have a primary care physician, they don't know where to go. A lot of time they know that there's an emergency department at the local hospitals and that's where they're going to access care.”

He also said this is partly because there is not enough access to clinics in the QCA, which is why so many are now being opened. These types of clinics could also save you money.

“It takes a lot longer to get through an emergency department. The cost is a lot higher for the patient. It's much better if you have something that's not life-threatening to access care in an urgent care location like this,” Behrens said.

Express or convenient care clinics are perfect for minor illnesses, including sore throats, sinus infections, or the flu. If you are experiencing chest pains or heavy bleeding, you should obviously go to the emergency room.