"Jefferson County has been in need of primary care for some time. Urgent care is actually an adjunct to primary care," according to Duane Bailey, the president of Medical Management Solutions. His Martinsburg consulting firm works with the three Eastern Panhandle hospitals to help set up practices for physicians.
Setting up the center would cost about $115,000, according to Bailey, and it will probably employ an area physician. It would have weekend and evening hours to accommodate less-serious illnesses and injuries.
Jefferson Memorial spokeswoman Teresa McCabe said the shortage of primary care physicians in the county has brought more people to the emergency room at the hospital. She said the center would allow the less seriously ill to get treatment for about half the cost of an emergency room visit.
"The charges are very similar to going to a doctor's office," she explained. McCabe explained there would be provisions made for those who came to the center, but actually needed to be taken to the emergency room.
Bailey said it would likely cut down on the waiting time for patients at the emergency room and allow its personnel to concentrate on major medical emergencies.
"Right now we're looking at Somerset Plaza off U.S. 340," according to McCabe. Jefferson Urgent Care may locate the center in a vacant storefront at the shopping center, which has a Food Lion and CVS drug store as its major stores.
The urgent care center would be funded by the hospital and Medical Management Solutions, McCabe noted. She said the certificate of need from the state is required to establish any new health service in the county.