Hybrid ER-Urgent Care Facility Aims for Imminent Debut

By Eric Althoff

NAVARRE, Fla.Baptist Health Care has partnered with the Texas-based healthcare firm Intuitive Health on a facility they are aiming to unveil this month in the Florida Panhandle, the joint partnership announced recently.

The Baptist Health Care Emergency Room & Urgent Care, located at the Baptist Medical Park in the Pensacola suburb of Navarre, is scheduled to open for business on September 28. This will be the first “hybrid” emergency room and urgent care clinic to operate in Northwest Florida.

Intuitive says that the advantage of a hybrid medical care model is that it simplifies how patients are assessed and then directed toward necessary treatments. Board-certified, ER-licensed physicians determine a course of treatment, be it emergency or urgent care. At the same time, the paradigm streamlines costs and reduces patient fees as ER visits are typically more expensive than urgent care-billed care.

“We’ve witnessed a growing issue across Northwest Florida surrounding trying to guide consumers to the appropriate level of care,” Brett Aldridge, vice president of business development at Baptist Health Care, said in a statement. “Requiring patients to determine the level of care they require by choosing either a freestanding ER or urgent care is neither feasible nor safe.

“Through our partnership with Intuitive Health, Baptist Health Care is eliminating the guesswork and improving patient experience with a full-service emergency room and urgent care under one roof.”

Intuitive has worked on these hybrid concept facilities in the past, and stocks each with a radiology suite, CT scanners and other important gear.

Added Thom Herrmann, CEO of Intuitive Health: “In addition to receiving the highest-quality of care, patients want convenience, immediate access to care, better customer service and greater transparency in the billing process. Partnering with Baptist Health Care to bring our dual urgent care and emergency care clinics to Pensacola is an exciting step toward making high-quality and transparent patient care more accessible nationwide.”

Baptist Health Care, which is based in the greater Pensacola area, is part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Their system encompasses three hospitals, four medical parks as well as the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine and the Lakeview Center. The firm employs more than 7,000 people, making them one of the largest employers in the Florida Panhandle.

Their partner in the venture, Intuitive Health, has 10 locations in Texas, New Mexico and Indiana. The Baptist Health Care Emergency Room & Urgent Care will be Intuitive Health’s eleventh hybrid emergency room/urgent care facility in the nation and the fourth such facility in Florida.