Jefferson Healthcare has entered the new year with some positive announcements for primary care needs in the county. The Hospital district has announced a new Express Clinic, opening on February 5th. It will be open from 10AM to 8PM 365 days a year.
The goal is to provide same – day medical care for non-emergency health conditions, including minor cuts and injuries, mild respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms. This is clinic is in addition to the normal primary care office.
The services provided will be billed at the same rate as your primary care clinic visits.
Patients will be seen in the order of their arrival and no appointments are available.
You do not need to be an existing patient of the primary care clinics to use this facility. The announcement recommends that you call the standard clinic first, to determine whether you should go to the new express clinic or not. The new clinic will be staffed by Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. The hospital will phase out the old walk in clinic in favor of this new one.
This is all separate from the free standing Madrona Hill Urgent Care clinic that still exists on the first floor of the building at 2500 W. Sims Way, as you enter Port Townsend.
There is a huge shortage of Primary Care providers in both the U.S. and Canada. This is partially due to the fact that primary care Physicians make less than their counterparts in specialties so students often don’t follow that path. Insurance companies do not reimburse at rates that make the profession seem attractive. The push by government and insurance payers to reward the primary care physician for more wholistic patient health, while still refusing to allow the provider to attend to more than one issue at a visit is very frustrating to providers I’ve talked to. It takes a dedicated young person to decide to choose that route, however it is in many ways extremely rewarding. It would be a very good idea for the government to offer incentives to students to go into primary care as well as revisit the issue of provider reimbursals, case loads and ability to investigate multiple issues at a visit.
Additionally, the hospital district has announced the addition of a husband and wife team of physicians. Chyrstal and David Schwartz have joined the staff.
Dr. Chrystal Schwartz has joined the Primary Care group and obstetrics. Dr. David Schwartz works at the Surgical Associates, specializing in general surgery and endoscopy.
This is not the first time husband/wife teams have been hired by the hospital.