Medstar Health opens first satellite clinic as alternative to hospital emergency room

The health care provider MedStar Health, which owns Union Memorial, Good Samaritan and Franklin Square hospitals, has opened its first urgent care satellite facility, called PromptCare, on the city-county line, and says it plans to open more in the Baltimore area in the future.

"It's the first in a serie3s," said MedStar spokesman Johnny Hagerman.

Located in the Anneslie Shopping Center at 6317 York Road in Baltimore County, just past Cedarcroft in the city, the new center is expected to draw as many as 100 people a day within a 3-mile radius. It will be an alternative for people who can't wait for a doctor's appointment but don't need to go to a hospital emergency room.

"You wouldn't go here if you broke your leg or got pneumonia," Hagerman said.

But it's a good choice for cuts, bruises, sprains, sinus infections or illnesses such as the flu that come on fast, especially "if you don't want to wait three days to see your doctor," he said.

It will also serve as a community clinic for physicals and shots, he said.

With two rotating doctors, three medical assistants,X-raytechnicians and eight exam rooms — each with a flat-screen TV — the 4,400-square-foot clinic will see patients from babies to the elderly seven days a week. Its hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, said Tracy Patterson, of Continuum Health Solutions, a consultant to MedStar in the opening of the PromptCare facility.

The facility has a triage area and on-site digital radiology that can be transmitted to MedStar hospitals, Patterson said.

The location of the first PromptCare facility was chosen because Anneslie was considered "a community of need," Hagerman said. He said most people seek health care within a few miles of where they live or work.

The facility will offer two special features — call-ahead seating, in which patients will be called at home or work a half hour before their room is ready, and an annual membership fee of $45 that entitles patients to a flat fee of $135 per visit.

"A normal fee rate is going to run you over $200," Patterson said.

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