David Harbour, DO, keeps patients and their care providers top of mind
Eager to get the word out to the Orlando healthcare community, David Harbour, DO, and Eric Mason, DrPH, stress the value their high acuity urgent care centers for patients, insurance providers, and practices looking for an alternative for emergent patients who do not need immediate admission to the hospital.
First Choice Urgent Care, founded in 2008, is privately owned with a mission to keep patients out of the hospital.
"The decision to open a high acuity urgent care came from both of us working in Emergency Rooms and seeing how the vast majority of cases we saw were a tremendous waste of resources, and of patients/insurance/ACO's time and money," said David Harbour, DO, medical director at First Choice, who is trained and board certified in Emergency Medicine.
The entire staff is emergency medicine trained, experienced and hand-picked to ensure satisfaction for adults and pediatric patients. Labs, and radiology studies are handled by both locations; Oviedo, at 1945 West County Road 419, Suite #1101 and Maitland at 110 North Orlando Ave., Suite #14. Plans are for further expansion in central Florida.
Dr. Eric Mason has been practicing emergency medicine for over 25 years. He graduated medical school as a physician assistant before earning a doctorate in public health. He is also a consultant who assists private medical practices increase their value to the next levels in both a patient care and probability aspect, while minimizing risk.
"We do 90 percent of what hospital ER's do for patients not needing admission. Unlike hospital run urgent cares, we do not have the conflict of interest to feed the hospital ERs, but to reserve them for the more significant and appropriate cases. We are also not a primary care office that acts as an urgent care to increase walk in visits. We work with specialists to get patients directly admitted and have staff and resources in place to see higher acuity medical care, then return patients to their own healthcare providers. We want our patients to keep their provider, and us work with them as an alternative to the ER for those many emergent cases which require emergency medical or traumatic care," said Mason.
Operating as independent cares benefits all aspects of the healthcare industry.
"Independence means that we only have our patients to answer to, and not administrations who must keep hospitals profitable. Hospitals have a great role in healthcare but are grossly over-utilized in cases which are above time, schedule or resource levels of private practices. We can tend to most of these patients and save them time, money, and exposure," Mason said.
This is a win for insurance companies as well, since they can provide emergency level care in many cases, at a fraction of the cost.
"We work closely with any providers who want to utilize our practice for emergency care, supplemental care, and then ensure patients' seamless follow up back with their provider. Patient care is first, and while we do not replicate the hospital ER, we can provide many services which virtually all other urgent cares will not do, and it wouldn't make business sense in my opinion for hospital owned urgent care chains to NOT regularly refer patients out to their respectively owned ER," according to Harbour, "It does make sense for the model of First Choice Urgent Care to treat higher acuity patients and us direct admit, or disposition patients back to the referring provider as appropriate. This is best for the patient, insurance carriers, Medicare, and physician offices that realize the tremendous savings potential."
Visit First Choice Urgent Care at www.firstchoiceurgentcare.net.