Source: Healthcare Financce

By Jeff Lagasse

August 5, 2016

Joint venture is part of an overall growth strategy aimed at increasing access to urgent care services, the system says.

Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, a joint venture created to bring urgent care centers to California's Bay Area, this week opened its latest center.

The Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care Castro Center is equipped with new technology, including laboratory and mobile X-ray equipment, to help ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of non life-threatening medical conditions.

Officials expect that integration with Dignity's electronic health record system will enable more consistent and informed care, at an affordable cost to consumers. The Castro Center is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The urgent care centers are managed by GoHealth, with clinical services and oversight through the Dignity Health St. Mary's/Saint Francis Medical Foundation.

The joint venture between Dignity and GoHealth dates back to February and is part of an overall growth strategy aimed at increasing access to urgent care services. Over the next 12 to 15 months, 12 or more urgent care centers are planned for San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, the company said. If additional medical treatment for a patient becomes necessary, the urgent care centers will refer patients to Dignity Health Medical Foundation primary care physicians and specialists. The foundation will maintain clinical oversight of the centers.

"Patients can check in online or walk in to receive high quality care by Dignity Health providers," said Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care, in a statement, adding that if offers patients a "technology-forward" setting.

San Francisco-based Dignity Health is a 21-state network of nearly 9,000 physicians, 56,000 employees and more than 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health and primary care centers. GoHealth operates urgent care centers in the New York and Portland, Oregon metropolitan areas, and the San Francisco Bay area.