JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new option for health care is coming to the St. Johns Town Center area that will not only offer a new place to get urgent care, but will also do it for less cost than an emergency room, St. Vincent's HealthCare said Tuesday.
Next year, St. Vincent's HealthCare will be opening a multi-purpose urgent care facility on Gate Parkway between J. Turner Butler Boulevard and Interstate 295.
The facility will offer urgent care, primary care, lab services and other services at that location, as well as other locations that St. Vincent's plans to open in rapidly growing areas.
Right now, the wooded lot on Jacksonville's Southside is empty. But once complete, the facility will offer options for people who need multiple visits to a doctor's office. It will be similar to the St. Vincent's Health Center in Mandarin, which opened earlier this year.
"That patient can see the primary care physician. They can get their lab work done. She can get her mammogram done, and she's all done in one visit," said Dr. Dale Tucker, who works as an urgent care physician at St. Vincent's Health Center in Mandarin.
Tucker said they’ve had a positive response from patients who are able to take care of their medical needs in one place. He told News4Jax that it’s especially beneficial for people who no longer drive.
"The more visits you have, the more times you have to have somebody take you, the less likely you are to go and have your tests you need done," Tucker said. "Anything that creates efficiency and helps get the patient better care is better for all of us."
That’s why St Vincent’s is targeting specific areas of town. In addition to the Mandarin location, an urgent care is scheduled to open in St. Johns County, off County Road 210 and Interstate 95, on Nov. 1. The Gate Parkway location is scheduled to open in August 2018. Another location is planned for the Westside, in the area of 103rd Street and Jammes Road.
In total, St. Vincent's plans to have 10 locations within the next 30 months.
"We want to go where people live and work today and where the growth is projected to be," said St. Vincent's HealthCare CEO and President Tom VanOsdol. "Again, taking the care to where people live and work."
VanOsdol also told News4Jax on Tuesday that at a facility like this, the patient cost can be up 80 or 90 percent less than at a free-standing or stand-alone emergency room. He said since everything is done under one roof, it reduces the need for the same tests to be repeated.