GoHealth Urgent Care News

Castro Crime & Safety: Market Street Safety, Self-Defense, New Urgent Care, More

Source: Hoodline

By Brian Ray

May 16, 2016

Crime incident reports in the Castro have notably lighter in frequency over the last couple of weeks since our previous roundup. So this time around, we're shifting focus to the saf...

Castro Crime & Safety: Market Street Safety, Self-Defense, New Urgent Care, More

Source: Hoodline

By Brian Ray

May 16, 2016

Crime incident reports in the Castro have notably lighter in frequency over the last couple of weeks since our previous roundup. So this time around, we're shifting focus to the safety front, with updates on Upper Market street safety, new plans for an urgent care center, and information on an upcoming self-defense workshop in early June. But first, the crime reports. (All reports below come via the SFPD, unless otherwise noted.)

Jeffrey's Natural Pet Foods Repeat Burglary

We reported last week that the Castro location of Jeffrey's Natural Pet Foods, was burglarized on May 8th, for the second time in five months. The store's manager guessed that a crowbar was used to pry open the store’s back window, and that the same instrument was used to get into the store’s register and safe. No products or electronics were stolen, only cash.

While police investigate, Jeffrey's is making some changes, adding stronger security at the back door and windows, as well as extra lighting, security cameras, and an alarm system.

Argument Leads To Violent Robbery

On May 14th at 2:30am, a 22-year-old man got into an argument with two men in their 20s as he was getting into a ride share vehicle at Castro and Market. One of the suspects slammed his head into the car. Both suspects then smashed his phone and stole money from him. The ride share driver took the victim to the hospital where he was treated for a mild concussion. No arrests were made.

Dolores Phone Robbery

Later on the 14th, at 10pm, a 41-year-old man was walking while on his phone near 16th and Dolores. Another man, 35-40, punched him and grabbed his phone, running in an unknown direction. No arrest was made.

Upper Market Intersection Safety Updates

Hoodline covered a May 5th open house put on by the here.

New Urgent Care Center Heading To Former RadioShack

After a little over a year of vacancy, we learned that an urgent care center plans to move into the former RadioShack space at 2288 Market St. GoHealth Urgent Care will be opening its first Bay Area location, offering local treatment for upper respiratory conditions, cuts, fractures, sprains, and other minor injuries. If all goes according to plan, GoHealth will open in August of this year.

Castro Community On Patrol Offering Free Self-Defense Workshop

Castro Community On Patrol, the neighborhood's yolunteer-driven safety and awareness group, offers self-defense classes in addition to their routine patrols of the Castro. Their upcoming class, taught by Grand Master Ken Craig, will take place on Monday, June 13 at 7:00pm at STRUT (470 Castro St.). The class is already at capacity, but interested readers can register to be on the waitlist via Eventbrite.

No news is good news: 6 weeks of electronic prescribing in New York

Source : Becker’s Hospital Review

By Akanksha Jayanthi

May 12, 2016

In the six weeks since providers in New York state were required to start electronically submitting prescriptions, little news and commentary has co...

No news is good news: 6 weeks of electronic prescribing in New York

Source : Becker’s Hospital Review

By Akanksha Jayanthi

May 12, 2016

In the six weeks since providers in New York state were required to start electronically submitting prescriptions, little news and commentary has come out about the transition, which appears to indicate it has been going smoothly.

Read more at : http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/no-news-is-good-news-6-weeks-of-electronic-prescribing-in-new-york.html


Area Hospitals Compete To Win

Source: Westchester Magazine

By Bonnie Dresner

May 11, 2016

Specialized treatment centers, ambulatory-care outposts, slick advertising, physician outreach—and a quest to keep patients out of their facilities—are just som...

Area Hospitals Compete To Win

Source: Westchester Magazine

By Bonnie Dresner

May 11, 2016

Specialized treatment centers, ambulatory-care outposts, slick advertising, physician outreach—and a quest to keep patients out of their facilities—are just some of the measures local hospitals are using to survive in an increasingly competitive industry.

After polishing off an organic turkey, red quinoa, and crimini mushroom salad, you can mosey over to the boutique and inspect the offerings, which include a $125 handmade beaded necklace and a $46 artisan wood bowl. The two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, dark wood, gray sofas, and vibrant blue-butterfly sculptures gracing the walls evoke the lobby of an upscale hotel. Yet, this is the newly renovated lobby of White Plains Hospital, one of several medical institutions in the county aiming to increase its market share in the coming years. 

 Within Westchester’s environs are 12 acute-care hospitals (11 lie within county lines, plus Greenwich Hospital, which draws 52 percent of its inpatients from New York, sits just over the border). That’s a lot of competition, say many of the people whose mission it is to fill hospital beds—and coffers. Despite the abundance of local hospitals, the new affiliations and acquisitions that have transpired among them, and the angst over declining insurance reimbursements, none of these institutions intend to flatline. People in our region incur more than $1 billion in costs at these hospitals annually. Westchester’s hospitals are vying for their share of that business by ramping up their presence. They’ve invested millions in new services, buildings, equipment, technology, and hotel-like amenities in the dual quest to improve patient care and lure patients to their facilities and away from their rivals down the parkway. 

“What many people forget is that hospitals are big business,” says Michael Spicer, CEO of Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers. “Healthcare is becoming very, very competitive. Not only the community hospitals; it’s the big guys, too.”

The Shift to Outpatient Care

Ironically, as hospital administrators develop plans to increase revenue, keeping people well and out of the hospital is a critical piece of the plan. Why? Hospital overhead is expensive, and studies from the country’s largest health insurers over the last decade have determined that many patients didn’t require all the services and associated expenses of a hospital setting for their ailments. Medicare and Medicaid, the nation’s largest health insurers, began cutting back insurance reimbursements and penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients within 30 days of discharge. Hospital leaders searched for ways to make up the shortfall while still offering quality care. What they realized was that with equipment becoming more portable and many procedures becoming more routine, they had other means to provide treatment. Those who needed a hospital bed in the past could get their doctoring in another setting.  

“The advances in medicine have made it possible to shift more and more health services from inpatient to outpatient care,” says Anthony Ferreri, executive vice president and chief affiliation officer of Northwell Health, formerly known as North Shore-LIJ Health System. (Phelps Memorial Hospital Center and Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco recently joined the Northwell family.) “Hospitals and health systems are opening up urgent-care centers, ambulatory services, and medical office buildings. You can go into a building that’s like a medical mall. As we move into ambulatory settings now, the hospitals are competing more than ever.” 

This trend is evident throughout Westchester. Northwell opened urgent-care centers this winter, in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care, in both Tarrytown and Yorktown Heights, where patients can check wait times online before heading over. This adds to Northwell Health-GoHealth’s existing location in New Rochelle, where Montefiore Health System operates the 242-bed Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, as well as an outpatient center. White Plains Hospital, a Montefiore Hospital partner since 2015, opened a satellite practice, White Plains Hospital Physician Associates, in New Rochelle in 2013. It has also put down roots farther north, with a medical-and-wellness center in Armonk (White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness), about a 10-minute drive from Northern Westchester Hospital’s ambulatory-care center in Chappaqua. And Phelps increased its physician presence in Dobbs Ferry and Croton-on-Hudson with new and expanded office spaces. (Even more doctors are taking up residence in the county this spring as ColumbiaDoctors, a NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center medical practice, moves into a 20,000-square-foot space in Tarrytown.)

It may seem like there’s a lot of redundancy of services in a small geographic space, but the New York State Department of Health doesn’t see it that way. The state agency requires hospitals to substantiate the need for medically related building or services in a community. The CON, or Certificate of Need, process gives the state DOH “oversight in limiting investment in duplicate beds, services and medical equipment which, in turn, limits associated health care costs,” according to its website. As long as the DOH stamps its approval, medical institutions may continue to embed themselves within the same towns and cities.

Providing primary care in a community whose patients they covet is a key way hospitals expect to increase their volume. These new standalone facilities are built for appeal; they don’t carry the doc-in-a-box stigma once associated with retail medical care. A center, urgent-care, or wellness center is often the first line to establishing a connection to a hospital brand, particularly among a younger generation of patients who eschew the “single-source, primary-care-physician model favored by older generations,” according to a survey commissioned by PNC Healthcare last year. The survey found that Millennials prefer retail and acute-care centers nearly twice as
often as baby boomers and seniors.

Beyond the exceptional care these outpatient facilities pledge to everyone, they tend to distinguish themselves through the details. In some cases it’s the availability of late-night or weekend appointments; in others, it’s a variety of specialists or the convenience of getting x-rays, physical therapy, or minor surgery close to home. Northwell’s New Rochelle facility advertises “highly competitive same-day pricing” for patients who may be comparing costs among centers. Others offer wellness options, such as support groups and nutrition counseling, to draw new patients.

The overarching intent is to keep people healthy, which administrators believe will result in fewer hospital stays, bolstering the bottom line. “One of the goals of healthcare reform is prioritizing hospital care for the sickest patients,” explains White Plains Hospital CEO Susan Fox, who notes that her hospital has responded by creating new facilities and additional advanced programs to be able to provide “the right level of care in the right setting.” 

“That’s our strategy here,” she adds.

Focusing on the Most Prevalent Diseases

Another strategy for local hospitals is to focus on diseases like cancer, whose prevalence, unfortunately, presents myriad business opportunities. White Plains Hospital recently renovated its Dickstein Cancer Treatment Pavilion and added a new six-story pavilion, which opened in February, doubling its original space for cancer care. Nine miles away, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital officials have been busy constructing their three-story cancer center scheduled to open later this year. And in April, administrators at Phelps Memorial Hospital began the process of bolstering their cancer program by filing a certificate of need with the state Department of Health for a $7.1 million  27,000 square foot oncology facility. These are business decisions based on the realities of the disease.  

“There are 5,500 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year in Westchester,” says Maureen Killackey, MD, clinical director of the NewYork–Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital Cancer Center. “One out of two men, and one out of three women, will get cancer [nationwide] by age 85. Eighty-five percent can be treated in a community-based comprehensive cancer center.”

White Plains Hospital and NewYork–Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital both have a substantial stake in assuming people will accept that notion. Each has invested more than $50 million in its respective cancer center. White Plains Hospital added 35,000 square feet of additional space with its new tower, which is connected to the existing center. NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence is housing its 40,000-square-foot unit—including new, state-of-the-art operating rooms—on the site of a former garden. Other than the color schemes and square footage, they are, on paper, providing similar services: new infusion suites and a linear accelerator for enhanced radiation oncology capabilities, among others. Each boasts renowned on-staff physicians, clinical trials, cutting-edge equipment, and the ability to teleconference with additional specialists who may be in the Bronx or Manhattan or anywhere in the world. Both units are designed with an eye toward comfort for people undergoing the harsh treatment regimen cancer patients often endure. 

Though the Bronxville and White Plains centers are the most recent additions to the arena, nearly every hospital in the county, including the 12-bed St. John’s Riverside Dobbs Ferry Pavilion, have oncology offerings, underscoring how pervasive a disease—and business opportunity—cancer is. While many people have excellent odds of winding up in remission, most cancer diagnoses necessitate years of monitoring. Attracting patients to their cancer centers ensures a long-term relationship between patient and hospital. 

It is the same situation with heart disease.   

“If you are a true community hospital, you have to treat the most prevalent diseases, and that’s cancer and heart disease,” says Ferreri. 

The quest to be the cardiac-care provider of choice for Westchester residents has also expanded. White Plains and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospitals have upgraded or added to their cardiac-catheterization capabilities recently. (Among the treatments available in a cardiac-catheterization lab are stents, biopsies, internal pacemaker implantation, and emergency angioplasty for people having heart attacks.) Northern Westchester Hospital has an application on file with the state DOH to establish its first cardiac-catheterization lab. Saint Joseph’s Medical Center recently opened a freestanding cardiac-care facility in Yonkers, and Westchester Medical Center keeps adding to its extensive list of cardiac-care capabilities. 

“The things we focus on are the advanced services,” explains Michael Israel, Westchester Medical Center Health Network president and CEO. “We used to be the only hospital that did cardiac cath. Then the technology improved, and it became widely available in many hospitals. Now, we do much more advanced things, like TAVR,” he says, explaining that transcatheter aortic valve replacement at WMC is a new approach to replacing heart valves, one that vastly shortens a patient’s recuperation time and hospital stay.  

Westchester Medical Center, the largest hospital in the region, differentiates itself by focusing on industry-leading treatments and bringing its services to communities farther north, say hospital leaders. Its joint venture, announced last year, with Bon Secours Charity Health System, added community hospitals, several other medical facilities, and a network of more than 80 physicians to its fold.  It also recently announced a new partnership  with Kingston-based HealthAlliance that will further expand its reach in the Hudson Valley. Westchester Medical Center now has networks and affiliations in eight counties: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, and Delaware, as well as a $500 million, 15-year joint venture with Phillips which, among other benefits, enhances its telemedicine capabilities. This new eHealth Program allows ICU staff in Valhalla to monitor vital signs, note status changes and connect with patients and family members through in-room cameras in Poughkeepsie’s MidHudson Regional Hospital’s ICU. The program increases the hospital’s geographic reach and connects their specialists to people many miles away who wouldn’t otherwise have access to those doctors. 

While Westchester Medical Center is covering more ground outside the county, Bronx-based Montefiore Health System is asserting itself within county lines. Its acquisition of Mount Vernon Hospital and Sound Shore Medical Center in 2013 added significantly to its Westchester patient base, one of its major objectives.

“Our vision is to have a million people we are caring for,” notes Montefiore’s Susan Green-Lorenzen, RN, senior vice president, operations. “We want to provide them with the best care in the right location.” This idea of “population health management” is a trend healthcare organizations are employing to ensure the patients in their networks stay well at home. It’s targeted largely toward people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, COPD, or congestive heart failure, who wind up admitted to hospitals in disproportionate numbers. Studies have shown that patients fare better, and it’s more cost-effective, if they keep their symptoms under control. Frequent monitoring from caseworkers via phone or home visits can be part of that process. 

One local hospital, just-over-the-border Greenwich Hospital, is competing by investing in numerous areas. In addition to the millions it has allocated toward a new Stamford outpatient facility, a linear accelerator for radiation oncology, and the latest generation of the da Vinci robot for surgery, Greenwich Hospital has recently redesigned its maternity wing with some special touches, which were rewarded with a record number of new babies.

“Known as the region’s destination hospital for prospective parents, Greenwich Hospital welcomed a record 2,814 newborns in fiscal year 2015,” notes Marc Kosak, Greenwich Hospital’s senior vice president of administration. For patients who want additional luxury after they’ve finished laboring, the hospital has luxurious comfort wear and massage services available for an extra charge.

Standing Out in a Crowded Market

As the large health networks with advanced-care offerings move in, residents have many more places to turn for their procedures than they’ve had in the past. As a result, capturing their attention in a crowded market with overlapping services has gotten more complicated. Traditional advertising methods, like slick brochures in the mail and ads splayed across buses, are not enough. Increasingly important—and effective—are recommendations from physicians. 

Hospitals recognize the influence primary-care physicians have on steering patients their way. Courting large physician networks, retaining the doctors who trained on their floors, and using research opportunities as incentives help keep those referrals coming.  

“We graduate 10 residents a year,” says Spicer of Saint Joseph’s. “When those 10 graduate, we look to assist them by placing them with some of our physician practices. We look to hire them in hospital-affiliated primary-care practices.”

Besides referrals, doctors have assorted roles in hospital advertising campaigns.  

“When we first got the Mako robot for partial knee and complete hip replacements, our surgeons actually went out into the community and met patients face to face at senior centers and churches to talk about it,” says Fran Davis, vice president for nursing at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers. St. John’s invests a lot of time in cultivating relationships with the people in the city, she notes; connecting their doctors with residents is one way the hospital secures those ties.

If you don’t find them at a community center near you, look for physicians online. You can watch them earnestly explain illnesses or promote procedures within hospital websites or on YouTube. For those hospitals willing to spend the cash, there is also television advertising.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, parent to Lawrence and Hudson Valley Hospitals locally, bought 60 seconds of notoriously expensive airtime on Super Bowl Sunday this year to run a colorful, animated ad explaining its research on immunotherapy in cancer.  

Plugging their own merits may not sway increasingly savvy consumers, however. Sorting through the hyperbole and deciphering numerous accreditations and certifications is difficult. It isn’t clear to the average consumer whether it’s more impressive for a hospital to be a U.S. News & World Report designee or recommended on Healthgrades. 

Since 2008, with improvements implemented in 2015, there has been a more impartial avenue to compare hospitals: HCAHPS scores. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems is a standardized survey measuring patient satisfaction on a number of issues. Among the items assessed are how well the hospital staff communicates and how responsive they are to patients’ needs. It also asks for an overall rating of the hospital and whether they would recommend it to family and friends.   

Not surprisingly, hospitals are keenly aware of the importance of being competitive when it comes to HCAHPS scores.

“We look at our patient-satisfaction scores daily here,” says Davis. “It’s also something that patients now look for; they are educated consumers. HCAHPS scores play into their decision about what hospital to choose. We are really cognizant of that here.”

What makes those surveys more important than simply the happiness of their patients is that hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid money can be either penalized or rewarded a percentage of their reimbursements based on those scores. 

“It’s made everyone very focused on the quality of care,” says Elisabeth Wynn, senior vice president for health, economics, and finance at the Greater New York Hospital Association, of how seriously hospital administrators regard their scores.  

Still, no matter what the scores suggest or the ads promote, a strong sentiment persists among many Westchester residents that you need to head south, to New York City, to find the best medical institutions. 

Refuting that contention is another battle hospitals here have to face if their plans to win over patients are to be successful. A recent spate of promotions on television, radio, in print, and online emphasized both the great care to be had close to home, as well as the NYC connections that local hospitals have to big names, like NewYork- Presbyterian, Montefiore, or Lenox Hill (a Northwell affiliate). 

To paraphrase the film Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. Hopefully. Nine of the 12 area hospitals are nearing or have surpassed the century mark, numbering them among the oldest businesses in Westchester. In addition to caring for sick residents and their longstanding histories, these hospitals are vital to the local economy. Thousands are employed within their walls, and hospital entities own large swaths of Westchester real estate. There’s a lot riding on their success, while the continuing evolution of healthcare creates an uncertain future. Thus, the competition shows no sign of abating.

Says Northwell’s Ferreri, “Survival is based on volume, efficiency, quality, and service.”

Affiliation Mania

Your cheat sheet to the frenzy of hospital mergers and affiliations that have occurred over the last few years.

Greenwich Hospital: Joined Yale New Haven Health System in 1998.

Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital: The former Mount Vernon Hospital was acquired by Montefiore Health System in 2013.  

Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital: The former Sound Shore Medical Center was acquired by Montefiore Health System in 2013.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital: The former Lawrence Hospital was acquired by NewYork-Presbyterian in 2014 after more than 10 years of affiliation.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital: The former Hudson Valley Hospital Center was acquired by NewYork-Presbyterian in 2015. 

Northern Westchester Hospital: Joined Northwell Health in 2014.  

Phelps Memorial Hospital Center: Joined Northwell Health in 2014.

Saint Joseph’s Medical Center: Remains independent with a clinical affiliation to Montefiore Health System.

St. John’s Riverside Hospital: Remains independent with a clinical affiliation to Montefiore Health System.

St. John’s Riverside Dobbs Ferry Pavilion: The former Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry was acquired by St. John’s in 2002.  

Westchester Medical Center: Acquired six hospitals within the past three years, in Poughkeepsie, Suffern, Warwick, Kingston, Margaretville and Port Jervis.  

White Plains Hospital: Became a member of the Montefiore Health System in 2015.

How to Keep Your Family Healthy All Year Round

Source: Mom Blog Society

By Lisa 

May 9, 2016

Making sure your family is healthy all year round is so important and vital to their bodies. No matter what the season may be sickness can come upon us all within the blink of a...

How to Keep Your Family Healthy All Year Round

Source: Mom Blog Society

By Lisa 

May 9, 2016

Making sure your family is healthy all year round is so important and vital to their bodies. No matter what the season may be sickness can come upon us all within the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s so important to have an good, qualified urgent care facility near you.

GoHealthUrgent Care will definitely be the place for you and your family to receive exceptional care from the moment you walk in.

You see at GoHealth Urgent Care, they place the needs of their patients first by providing an effortless patient experience, a welcoming culture of care and seamless integration with market-leading health systems and our communities.  GoHealth Urgent Care operates urgent care centers in the New York and PortlandOR, metropolitan areas. GoHealth is currently developing urgent care centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and has plans for additional expansion in multiple markets.

GoHealth Urgent Care’s current partners include health systems that are at the forefront of care delivery innovation, including Northwell Health (f/k/a/ North Shore-LIJ), New York’s largest health system, Legacy Health, the largest nonprofit, locally owned health system in the Portland-Vancouver area, and Dignity Health, the nation’s 5th largest health system. GoHealth Urgent Care is a dba of Access Clinical Partners, LLC, a TPG Growth portfolio company. TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, which has approximately $78 billion of assets under management.

No matter if you check-in online, or just walk in the GoHeath Urgent Care Center medical staff and licensed physicians are ready to address all your health concerns.

Now listen, Dr. Jill Swartz who is a physician at GoHealth Urgent Care in New York has composed 6 Tips for keeping your family healthy all year round. These tips once implemented can help you and your family live a healthy productive life.

Check out these tips:

  1.  Sleep: Sleep is essential for growth and over all wellbeing, so much so that children ages 6 to 13 should get between nine and 11 hours of sleep per night. Avoiding screen time just before bed, like looking at the television, video games, cell phones, etc. is also essential as it interferes with a child’s deep sleep cycle


  1.  Avoid spreading germs:  If your children feel a cold or couch coming on, teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow crease with the arm at a 90 degree angle. This is a simple yet effective way to avoid germs spreading into the air


  1.  Dress appropriately:  It’s especially important to make sure your child is properly layered in the winter. It’s better to take off layers if your child becomes hot, rather than be too cold, as the low temperature can decrease a child’s immune system, making them more susceptible to germs


  1.  Wear sunscreen:  Make sure your children are wearing sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, as there is an exponential difference between lower SPFs in regards to protecting the skin from burns. However, it’s important to note there’s only a one percent different between SPF 30 and SPF 50. The key to protecting your skin is not only having a higher SPF but also reapplying every two hours. Sunburns are not only painful and bothersome, but can lead to blisters, open wounds and future skin cancers if severe enough


  1.  Don’t share drinks.  Don’t share fluids with other kids whether at lunch or on the soccer field.  Keep your germs to yourself!


  1.  Take a sick day. When your children are sick, keep them home. Pushing your children to go to school will only decrease their immune system and expose them to secondary infections. Your child will also get other kids sick, bringing illnesses home to the whole family. If short on time for a trip to the doctor’s office, taking advantage of urgent care facilities like GoHealth makes the primary care experience as easy as possible for busy families on the go.

These are some great health tips that can help you stay on the right track of staying healthy year round but in the event you do medical attention facilities like GoHealth are available.

To learn more, please visit www.gohealthuc.com.

Don’t forget to connect with GoHealth via Facebook,| Twitter,| Google+,| to keep up with the latest.

Urgent Care Center Headed To Castro's Former RadioShack This Summer

Source: Hoodline

By Steven Bracco

May 9, 2016

The Castro's former RadioShack space has sat vacant since the retailer closed last April. But that won't stay the case much longer: GoHealth Urgent Care is on the way to the s...

Urgent Care Center Headed To Castro's Former RadioShack This Summer

Source: Hoodline

By Steven Bracco

May 9, 2016

The Castro's former RadioShack space has sat vacant since the retailer closed last April. But that won't stay the case much longer: GoHealth Urgent Care is on the way to the space at 2288 Market St., bringing local treatment for non-emergent conditions like upper respiratory conditions, cuts, fractures and sprains.

It'll be GoHealth's first urgent care center in the Bay Area, and Upper Market's second one, after Direct Urgent Care moves in to the ground floor space at Market and Buchanan's Linea building.

GoHealth Urgent Care currently operates 21 locations in New York, 10 in Oregon and two in Washington. As announced in a press release earlier this year, GoHealth will be partnering with local health provider Dignity Health in order to "bring a new model of high quality, consumer-focused urgent care centers to the Bay Area."

Dr. Todd Strumwasser, Dignity Health's Bay Area Sr. Vice President of Operations, went on to stay "our partnership with GoHealth will provide more options to Bay Area residents for fast and convenient care in a lower cost setting ... These urgent care centers will be staffed with Dignity Health clinicians so that we can meet consumers where they are and provide the high quality care that we are known to deliver."

GoHealth's Chief Operating Officer Gary Weatherford told us that this is the company's first build-out in San Francisco, and that they're targeting an August opening if everything goes according to plan. In the next 12 months, the company plans to open approximately 6-8 centers in San Francisco, with 12 planned for the entire Bay Area.

 GoHealth has already filed for a change of use from retail sales to medical services, and Gina Simi of the Planning Department tells us that the permit was approved on April 25th. "Medical Services use does not require public notice," she informed us. 

GoHealth plans on operating during normal business hours from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday-Sunday. While they have not yet spoken with local community groups, Weatherford tells us that they will be reaching out to them soon.

LI stores, developers on how retail is evolving

Source: Newsday

By Aisha Al-Muslim, Maura McDermott, and Victor Ocasio

May 7, 2016

Shopping centers and malls on Long Island and in the nation are evolving as stores get smaller, landlords add non-retail tenants such as medic...

LI stores, developers on how retail is evolving

Source: Newsday

By Aisha Al-Muslim, Maura McDermott, and Victor Ocasio

May 7, 2016

Shopping centers and malls on Long Island and in the nation are evolving as stores get smaller, landlords add non-retail tenants such as medical centers and gyms, and retailers move into mixed-use developments where residents live.

Read more at :http://www.newsday.com/business/li-stores-developers-on-how-retail-is-evolving-1.11771279

Portland's war of the retail centers

Source: Portland Business Journal 

By Elizabeth Hayes

April 15, 2016

Last summer, Zoom+ helped Jody Greene get to work on time.

Greene had come down with a sinus infection and didn’t have a primary care doctor....

Portland's war of the retail centers

Source: Portland Business Journal 

By Elizabeth Hayes

April 15, 2016

Last summer, Zoom+ helped Jody Greene get to work on time.

Greene had come down with a sinus infection and didn’t have a primary care doctor. So she made an online appointment at a Zoom+ center in Portland’s Pearl District near her job and still managed to make it to her desk at the usual hour.

Zoom+, which started with a single location at Bridgeport Village a decade ago, placed a bet that tens of thousands of Jodies — or “Sarahs,” as co-founder and CEO Dr. Dave Sanders calls his customer base — are out there, demanding care where they want it, when they want it. Today Zoom+ has 25 centers in the Portland-Vancouver region and treats a quarter of a million patients a year.

Zoom+ is hardly alone in the neighborhood/retail center game. There are no fewer than 75 urgent or on-demand centers in and around Portland . Major health systems — Providence Health & Services, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Adventist Health — have jumped in enthusiastically, with a wave of new locations popping up or on the drawing board. And a handful of independent players are in the game as well.

The result is a hyper-competitive marketplace that has pitted some of the region’s biggest health care providers against one another in an all-out war for patients — or consumers, as they’re viewed these days.

“It’s definitely a concern, because we see them going up all over town, and every health care system is putting in its own solution,” said Eric Weeks, senior director of Legacy Medical Group. “We clearly have more saturation in the marketplace than we have before. But we have more people utilizing urgent care than in the past, and some of them, frankly, don’t want a primary care physician but want to get their care episodically.”

Even with demand for urgent-care services rising, it’s unlikely all these entrants will survive. With a nearly 10-year head start, Zoom+ has an established footprint and well-known brand. But Kaiser, Providence and Legacy have name recognition, hospitals and hundreds of thousands of their own insured patients they can drive to their centers.

Centers rising

The retail revolution is happening in response to changing consumer values: speed and convenience, often over long-term relationships with a family doctor, especially at a time of a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians. Whether they’re called urgent, on-demand, convenience or express care, most are open seven days a week and evenings and see patients with non-life-threatening symptoms — sore throats, earaches, rashes and sprains. They take walks-ins and same-day appointments, with wait times of 30 minutes or less.

With more people insured and more of them in high-deductible health plans, there’s also an incentive for patients to seek cheaper care alternatives than the emergency room. According to Medica Choice Network, the average ER cost for allergies, for instance, was $345 vs. $97 in an urgent care setting. For urinary tract infection, the difference was even greater: $665 vs. $112.

On-demand centers make their prices readily available, with office visits generally in the range of $125-$160 for self-pay patients, less for those who are insured.

At the same time, consumer demands, as well as regulatory changes, have impacted hospitals’ revenue mix. A decade ago, nearly 57 percent of the dollar amount Oregon hospitals charged derived from inpatient care. Now the proportion is almost equally divided between inpatient and outpatient, as more procedures have migrated to ambulatory settings and systems respond to Medicare and Medicaid incentives to lower hospitalizations.

Retail centers, with their relatively low overhead, can fill the gap, provided they achieve a high volume.

“Urgent care is very profitable,” said Bill Stinneford, senior vice president at Buxton, a Fort Worth-based consumer analytics firm working with Adventist Health to evaluate center sites. “If you’re a health system, you need that type of business to support the rest of it.”

Management consulting firm Oliver Wyman projects “at least $200 billion in current health care spend is poised to flow from traditional venues to one or more of these alternative, new front door sites,” including virtual care.

Competitive edge

In Portland, center operators are jockeying to stand out.

Zoom+ last year expanded beyond urgent care into what Chief Creative Director Steve McCallion calls a “radical redefinition of primary care,” as well as beefing up its “advanced care” offerings. For example, at the Zoom+ Performance Lab in the Pearl District, you can test your nervous system function. The company’s marketing leans heavy on catchphrases — “Sarah,” platonic ideal Zoom patient, and “twice/half/ten,” which stands for “twice the health, half the price, ten times the delight.”

It is also now in the insurance game. Greene, who was treated at Zoom+ for her sinus infection, is now on a Zoom+ group insurance plan through her employer, the tech-marketing firm Response Capture. She frequents Zoom+ centers regularly for wellness checks and to treat various maladies.

“We were in and out when my son had pink eye, and we left with a prescription and didn’t have to go elsewhere,” Greene said.

Adding insurance to its business model allows Zoom to keep patients inside the Zoom ecosystem. But, while Zoom is Portland’s most-established center operator, it’s an upstart in insurance.

On the other hand, Kaiser may be a newer entrant to the convenience center game, but it dominates Oregon’s health care landscape. The company is the largest insurer, with nearly 530,000 members. It operates two hospitals and four urgent care centers in the Portland metro area. Kaiser is piloting a new convenient care model in the Pearl District this fall, with plans to add more if the prototype center is a success.

Kaiser’s closed-loop system can steer existing members to the retail center and, conversely, entice nonmembers through the door and funnel them to its hospitals and health plan. Providence, which also owns hospitals and one of the largest health plans, enjoys a similar advantage for its Express Care centers, which it plans to expand to nearly 20 this year both within Walgreens and standalone.

Legacy, which is buying a 50 percent interest in PacificSource Health Plans, operates its own urgent care center within Legacy Good Samaritan ER. But the vast majority are in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care, which was founded in Northern California and initially purchased five existing Portland-area centers. Since launching the joint venture last year, the footprint has grown to a dozen, with plans for eight more in 2016.

Dr. Gregory Carroll, regional president and medical director for Legacy-GoHealth, calls the company’s model “urgent care 2.0.”

“People may come to our retail site, but it’s fully connected to the Legacy system, so they get the best of both worlds,” Carroll said. “Say you need to go to (Legacy’s) Randall Children’s Hospital. The pediatric doctor pulls up your chart, and it’s already in the system. There are no redundancies or loss of communication. We’re eliminating waste over ordering tests and X-rays. You start to get efficiencies for patients.”

Even with the closed-loop advantage enjoyed by Portland’s powerhouse health systems, independent center operators see a place for themselves in the crowded marketplace. AFC/DoctorsExpress is the third-largest urgent care chain in the U.S., but is less well-known in Portland, where it has three locations and four more on the way.

Dan Reese, director of sales and marketing, said the key differentiator is this: 90 percent of patients see a doctor, not a nurse practitioner.

“It’s more about the quality and comprehensive service,” Reese said. “You go to some of these urgent care centers and you’re greeted by someone with a white lab coat, and you have no idea what their credentials are. It’s getting very gray about who’s treating a patient.”

Winners and losers

As it stands now, it’s too soon to say how much demand is really out there and which centers will flourish or flounder.

Legacy-GoHealth centers received 7,500 patients in December, slightly ahead of expectations, Weeks said.

In the short-term, those numbers may continue to rise.

Seventy percent of respondents to the business consulting firm Oliver Wyman’s national survey on on-demand centers said they are aware of retail centers, up slightly from 66 percent three years ago. And it’s not just the young and healthy that are accessing services: “Consumers have found the new front door, they like it and they’re likely going to start using it more and more,” the survey found.

For his part, Zoom+’s Sanders welcomes the competition and sounds a confident note.

“We’ve all done analytics on what we think the population base and demand is,” Sanders said. “It isn’t like they’re all equivalent, any more than all restaurants are. Some are As, Bs and Cs. Some will be successful and others less so. Probably there will be a period where folks come into the space and leave.”

He is also quick to highlight that Zoom was early to the game and that he believes that vision gives it a clear edge when it comes to market share.

“Most health care companies don’t have an original strategy or original thought about how the world is going to go,” he said. “They’re saying, ‘Who’s succeeding, who can I copy?’ For 10 years, they said, ‘That’s not going to work.’ We pointed to the light — neighborhood-based (care) — so they’re saying, ‘That’s interesting, I’ll do it too.’”

Ironically, Zoom is the one provider in these center wars that’s taking a pause, after a flurry of new locations last year. Now its focus is on serving demand for digital care.

“We’re going to focus on what we do well,” Sanders said. “We’re not in a race.”

An urgent need

On-demand centers are growing rapidly nationwide, according to Urgent Care Association of America:

  • 7,100: The number of urgent care centers nationwide.
  • 91%: The percent of urgent care centers nationwide that anticipated patient-visit growth in 2015.
  • 66%: The percent of urgent-care patients that have a primary care doctor.
  • 37%: The percent of urgent care centers that are hospital-owned or in a joint venture with a hospital.
  • 34%: The percent of urgent care centers that are located in shopping centers and strip malls.
  • 2%: The percent of urgent care center patients who required diversion to the ER/

9 Dehydrations Symptoms & Signs

Source: Self

By Amy Marturana

April 3, 2016

It may be time to make that water pitcher a permanent desk fixture.

It’s important to drink water. Over half our bodies are made up of water, and it’s necessary to keep...

9 Dehydrations Symptoms & Signs

Source: Self

By Amy Marturana

April 3, 2016

It may be time to make that water pitcher a permanent desk fixture.

It’s important to drink water. Over half our bodies are made up of water, and it’s necessary to keep us running. Whether you’re throwing back a bottle-full, or eating water-filled foods (ideally both), getting enough fluids in one way or another is essential for survival. 

Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and assistant professor in nutrition and exercise science at Central Washington University, tells SELF that the body does a pretty good job of maintaining fluid balance under normal circumstances. You pee when you have too much water, and get thirsty when you need more. But there are actually a handful of other ways your body says “I need hydration!” that you might not recognize.

The good news is that this mild dehydration is pretty easy to reverse if you just diligently drink more water. Here are some of the signs you may be dehydrated and need to drink more H2O ASAP.

1. Your mouth and lips are dry.

When you’re dehydrated, saliva production decreases, leaving your mouth and lips feeling dry. Dry mouth can also make your breath stinky, because bacteria has the chance to linger longer when it’s not being washed away on the reg.

2. Your pee is dark.

The color of your pee can tell you a lot about your health. Healthy, hydrated pee should be light yellow or clear, a sign that it’s properly diluted. If yours is medium yellow, dark yellow, or orange, it’s likely because your body isn’t getting enough water so your urine is more concentrated, Robert Korn, M.D., medical director of GoHealth Urgent Care in the New York area, tells SELF. Less water intake also means you’ll have to go less often, too.

3. Your energy levels are low.

“The defense mechanism of the body in the face of dehydration is to shut down blood supply to ‘non-vital’ organs,” Korn explains. This means the rest of your body, and your muscles specifically, may start to operate at a slower pace, making you feel sluggish and sleepy.

4. You have a headache.

The exact way dehydration causes a headache isn’t known. But experts believe that when hydration levels drop, so does blood volume, which leads to lower blood flow to the brain. This reduces the brain’s oxygen supply and causes the blood vessels to dilate, leading to headaches and even lightheadedness. 

5. You don’t have enough tears.

Similarly to saliva, the amount of tears you have can actually decrease if your body is using every last drop of water to support its basic functions. If your eyes are dry, or just not producing much liquid when you’re crying, it could mean you’re dehydrated.

6. Your skin is dry.

Water is essential for plump, hydrated skin. When your body’s tank is low, and using all the water available for basic functions, your skin gets the short end of the stick. Over time, it can lead to dryness. 

7. You get muscle spasms or “Charley horses.”

You know those super painful muscle spasms that wake you up in the middle of the night after your whole calf seizes up? They typically occur when a muscle is overused, and exercising when your fluid levels are low can spark one. 

8. Your body is cramping.

There are lots of things that can cause cramping, and muscle fatigue is the most likely culprit. But another type of cramping has been connected to dehydration and a sodium deficit in the body. “Exertional heat cramping, or full body cramping, may be related to sodium depletion and fluid loss especially in individuals who are ‘salty sweaters,'” Pritchett says. In this case, sipping on an electrolyte sports drink can be helpful to restore the natural mineral balance in the body.

9. You feel hungry even after you just ate.

Thirst and hunger cues come from the same part of the brain, so it’s easy to confuse the two. If you feel hungry even when you know you’ve eaten enough, there’s a good chance your body’s actually telling you it needs water, not food.

Important note: The following symptoms could be a sign of severe dehydration: rapid heartbeat or breathing, sunken eyes, fever, confusion, or delirium. If you experience any of these, go to the hospital.

Legacy-GoHealth brings streamlined urgent care

Source: Portland Tribune 

By Kelsey O'Halloran 

April 1, 2016

Stepping into Southwest’s new Legacy GoHealth Urgent Care facility doesn’t feel like walking into a doctor’s office. 

The bright interior, contem...

Legacy-GoHealth brings streamlined urgent care

Source: Portland Tribune 

By Kelsey O'Halloran 

April 1, 2016

Stepping into Southwest’s new Legacy GoHealth Urgent Care facility doesn’t feel like walking into a doctor’s office. 

The bright interior, contemporary design and simple check-in system offer an experience much more like that of a retail store than of an urgent care center. 

But the facility, located at the intersection of Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard, does offer high-quality medical care — in an easy-to-access center that’s closely tied to Legacy Health’s larger system of hospitals across the Portland and Vancouver area. 

“There’s such a great community in this area that we think has been underserved by urgent care,” says Dr. Gregory Carroll, medical director and market president for Legacy-GoHealth’s network of urgent care facilities. He calls the new center, which opened Feb. 1, “a community access point to the full spectrum of Legacy’s care.” 

If a patient comes into the urgent care center with a broken leg, Carroll says, the center staff can provide basic treatment and bring a mobile X-ray machine right into the exam room to take a closer look. Within the same day, the patient’s Legacy Health primary care doctor could look at the X-ray and provide feedback, because the center shares Legacy Health’s medical records system. 

The center provides services for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries — with no appointment necessary — and can also transport patients to a Legacy hospital for more extensive treatment. 

It’s the 11th such center in the Pacific Northwest as the result of a partnership between Legacy and GoHealth Urgent Care. 

Modernized care 

When patients enter the urgent care center, they’re directed to check in at a tablet station by the door. As they sit down to wait, a wall-mounted screen will show them their expected treatment time. Carroll says prospective patients can even check the Legacy-GoHealth website before coming to the center to compare the wait times at various centers around the Portland metro area and choose the one that suits their needs. 

The four exam rooms are about 108 square feet each — large and open enough to accommodate several friends or family members who may come in with a patient. While the rooms are walled in glass to provide an open and modern feel as patients come into the facility, the “smart glass” becomes opaque with the flick of a switch to provide complete privacy during the exam. 

Carroll says the facility’s design — which also includes curved architecture, “calming tones” and “healthy lighting” — is all about making patients feel comfortable and healthy so that they can heal more quickly. 

“There’s a lot of research on how environments can affect healing,” he says. “People’s sense of touch, smell, light and design can really affect their sense of wellness.” 

Southwest’s Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care center is located at 7461 S.W. Barbur Blvd. The center is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call 971-202-2099 or visit gohealthuc.com/legacy.

Creating Competition Through M&A In The Healthcare Field

Source: The Ambulatory M&A Advisor

By Richard Romero

December 2, 2016


Linda Fleming, partner with the law firm Carlton Fields confirms that in fact, the healthcare market is very competitive.  According to Fle...

Creating Competition Through M&A In The Healthcare Field

Source: The Ambulatory M&A Advisor

By Richard Romero

December 2, 2016


Linda Fleming, partner with the law firm Carlton Fields confirms that in fact, the healthcare market is very competitive.  According to Fleming, as more players enter the market, providers need to distinguish themselves to retain current patients and acquire new ones.  She explains this is also important when contracting with managed care companies.  Providers in the field need a critical mass to get their attention.

“Establishing sustainable competitive advantage and differentiation for your business is at least as important in healthcare as it would be in any other industry.  This is due in part to the fact that most healthcare service lines have multiple scaled competitors in each market and patients are presented with a greater number of options and alternatives.  Ensuring that your patients recognize and value your distinct competitive advantage is becoming more critical as patients transform themselves into educated healthcare consumers with much higher expectations for service and transparency. Creating competitive advantage can both support your growth and enable you to make longer term investments with confidence,” Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care says.

Fleming adds that she believes that having a competitive advantage in the industry is not only beneficial for the physician owners, but for the patients visiting centers as well.

“If the advantage is having multiple locations, then these companies offer increased convenience to their patients.  The competitive advantage might be enhanced Electronic Health Records and participation is an health exchange, thereby allowing all of the patient’s providers to access the patient’s up-to-date medical history.  Or it could be offering a full line of services, so it makes it easy for your patients to fulfill all of their health care needs with your company and its affiliates,” Fleming says.

“At some point, size could be a disadvantage, such as when antitrust prohibitions come into play.  But size does matter, and for the most part, the more dominant you are, the better opportunities you have.”

Latz does not believe there is a dominant player in urgent care today.  However, when discussing the topic of  it being possible to be “too large” in a market, he says that is theoretically possible.

“It really depends on your operating model, competitive advantage and whether the additional locations are accretive and sustainable,” Latz says.

On the topic of patients benefiting from competition, Latz says there is no question that patients can and should benefit from this competitive advantage.

“Whether it is a unique partnership model that provides greater access to the entire healthcare continuum and a higher level of clinical quality, technical innovation that redefines convenience and access, or a patient-first focus that delivers a seamless and restorative experience – competitive advantage and differentiation must present clear value to patients and deliver on (or exceed) their expectations,” Latz says.

Latz adds that there are a number of reasons to consider an acquisition of an existing center, including:

  • Faster new market entry
  • Accelerating growth by expanding your existing network or increasing market share
  • Adding clinical or operational talent
  • Obtaining more mature operating assets and established volume
  • Tapping into new partnership and collaborative opportunities

When approaching a transaction opportunity, Fleming says the strategic plans that a company may have for the deal is critical to offer multiple entry points.

“By adding new locations, the company is likely to expand its patient base, which in turn gives it more leverage when negotiating managed care contracts.  It may also provide the opportunity to expand service lines or enhance the existing company’s reputation,” Fleming says.

On the strategic point, Latz says would-be buyers may be looking to enter a new market, increase their presence and scale in an existing market, add a new service line or simply, take advantage of synergies or enhance their presence and relevance to payors.  An acquiror’s strategic plans would be dictated by what they are looking to achieve through the transaction.

When asked on when a good time to expand is in the market, Latz shares his thoughts.

“I believe you simply have to be opportunistic, as perfectly timing your growth can be tricky.  De novo growth is certainly easier to manage from a timing perspective, but growth through acquisition is much harder to manage, since the market may present a unique opportunity at a different time than you might have hoped for or projected.  You should also consider the cultural implications and amount of work it may take to transform or align an acquired business with your own unique model,” Latz says.

Fleming says that in her belief, growth for growth’s sake is rarely advisable.  Rather it should be part of a comprehensive strategic plan and should be done when the Company has the necessary resources to do so.

“This would include management and financial resources.  However, sometimes opportunities present themselves.  If the opportunity fits into your strategic plan, you might need to react immediately, even if you planned to do it a year or two later,” Fleming says.

Another way that M&A can create competition directly through the sales process is through an auction.

Lisa Taylor, partner with Webster, Wyciskala, and Taylor says that she is certainly seeing an increased trend in auctions throughout the healthcare industry that are increasing competition via M&A.

“If you would have asked me about an auction a year ago, I would have thought of an auction in a completely different context, like selling art work.  What I am really seeing is that they are increasingly being used where a substantial portion of the value of the selling organization is franchised to provide services; particularly in areas where for regulatory reasons, you can’t get into the market anymore,” Taylor says.

“That’s really the big thing.  CMS has put into place a number of moritoriums for a number of services like durable medical equipment, home health, and other services in various places across the country.  There are increasingly tight barriers to entry for services and to facilities that may not previously have had barriers to entry.

The only access to the market is by acquiring an existing organization, or in some cases, approval for an organization that has not been developed yet.  That license is what is really most valuable.  The selling organization wants to maximize the value for the current owners so an auction makes a lot of sense in terms of trying to maximize that value.  In some cases it is a good way to be able to entertain perspective bidders and to try and get offers, competition, and get purchasers to try to turn around a deal pretty quickly.”