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CareClinic opens Thursday at Crossroads Bartell Drugs
Group Health and Bartell Drugs are launching their second retail health clinic at the store's Crossroads location Thursday with the promise of affordable care and quality customer service — a model that could soon expand across the Puget Sound region.
The Crossroads Bartell Drugs was announced in December to be one of three initial start-up locations for CareClinics, a collaboration between the Seattle-based Group Health and retail-pharmacy chain to provide access to basic care for anyone needing treatment for common minor illnesses, as well as providing vaccines, immunizations, tuberculosis testing and a quick turnaround for filling prescriptions.
CareClinics are not just available to Group Health members, and accept most insurance coverage, said Wellesley Chapman, medical director of delivery system innovation, development and business services for Group Health. Those with insurance would provide whatever copay their coverage requires, and those still uninsured can expect a flat fee of $75 for their visit and $15 should a lab test be required.
"It's about 40 percent of what a general practice visit is," said Chapman, adding no charge is applied if CareClinics must refer a patient to urgent care or a hospital for a more serious condition.
The first CareClinic opened Jan. 16 at the University Village Bartell Drugs. All clinics are staffed by an advanced registered nurse practitioner, with check-ins at the pharmacy counter and visits typically lasting 15-20 minutes. Patients are charged using a bar code slip they can use at check-out, said Chapman, allowing them to pay for their clinical visit and store purchases at the same time. Electronic prescriptions can be filled at Bartell's quickly or at a patient's preferred pharmacy.
Chapman said the University Village CareClinic has been successful, but the model could change prior to future expansion based on patient feedback at the three participating locations. A Ballard location is slated to open in early March, but Chapman said the goal is to one day have dozens of clinics available at various Bartell locations.
"We will learn if we've got the model right, if we've got the price right, if we've got the treatment service right," Chapman said, "and we'll adapt more."
The Crossroads CareClinic is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. To learn more, go to care-clinic.org.