“It’s not the emergency room, and it’s not primary care. It’s the treatment of episodic, non-life threatening illness and injury,” said Marcus Hampers, the CEO of Clear Choice MD.
Hampers says the company chose Vermont because of the significant primary care doctor shortage.
“The emergency departments have been increasingly overburdened over the last 10-20 years. And it’s really not the patients fault but they end up at the emergency department because either they don't have a primary care provider or they couldn't get in to see primary care provider,” said Hampers.
Hampers says if you are feeling sick and your primary doctor can't see you right away that's when urgent care steps in.
“We can suture lacerations, we can drain abscesses, and we can treat all types of respiratory illnesses, rashes, insect bites. All the things you would consider going to your regular doctor for but that person may or may not be available,” said Hampers.
Clear Choice is privately owned and considered 'for profit'; similar to a private practice. Officials say because of that Clear Choice did not go through the Certification of Need process with the Green Mountain Care Board.
“We are for access to care, and so as long as they provide high quality access we are for that. But we are also for integration and we hope that as this company grows, they'll integrate with other hospitals and the information systems the state has,” said Al Gobeille, with the Green Mountain Care Board.
While urgent care is a convenient choice, Hampers says it should not replace your primary care doctor.
“A lot of people would go to their primary care doctor with a sore throat, which is essentially urgent care so there is some overlap. Primary care providers do practice urgent care, but not the reverse,” said Hampers.
Hampers says the clinic accepts all types of insurance as payment including Medicare and Medicaid.
The clinic opens its doors on Wednesday.
Clear Choice plans to open up a few more clinics this year in Rutland, Brattleboro, and in Burlington. They also plan to open up facilities in New Hampshire including one in West Lebanon by the end of the year.
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