Valley News – London’s new hospital plans walk-in clinic

NEW LONDON – The New London Hospital is converting two outpatient suites into a walk-in clinic, the last site in the Upper Valley to offer emergency care, which costs less than a visit to the emergency room.

Colby-Sawyer College students, skiers and summer vacationers who may not have primary care providers nearby – and who previously traveled to a larger city for emergency care when bitten by ticks, cut, sprained ankles or infected sinuses here instead, ”Hospital CEO Tom Manion said on Monday.

The new 2,400-square-foot clinic aims to both increase patient access to treatment and increase hospital outcomes, Manion said.

Manion, who came to New London last year after setting up a similar clinic at his former employer, Porter Medical Center in Middlebury, Vt, said he expected New London Hospital to see up to 12% less visits to his emergency department due to the new clinic, but he expects an increase in the total number of visits.

“At Porter, when I put this in place, I used it as an employee,” Manion said. Manion said he was “able to move forward (and) to be taken care of.”

The move makes New London Hospital, part of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system, the latest Upper Valley health care provider to enter the field of emergency care. This follows the DH System’s announcement earlier this year that it had launched a new virtual emergency care service in partnership with Florida-based MDLIVE.

When business at the new walk-in clinic is slow, Manion said providers can log into the Dartmouth-Hitchcock virtual emergency care system and treat patients online, though priority is given to people. who come to the clinic in person.

Officials “are striving (so) that we can do both,” he said.

The New London clinic will be priced higher than a primary clinic, but lower than an emergency department, Manion said. He noted that the primary care practices at New London Hospital have same-day appointments available for acute needs, but they are not open on weekends.

The new clinic should be open seven days a week. Monday to Friday, 9 am to 7 pm; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Manion said the hours are designed to coordinate with local drugstore hours in case patients need to pick up a prescription after their visit.

It is planned to employ a maximum of seven people at a time, including up to two nurse practitioners or medical assistants, as well as three medical assistants and two administrators. The clinic will be supervised by the medical director of the hospital emergency room, which will continue to be open 24 hours a day. If a person arrives at the walk-in clinic with a greater need than the clinic does can handle, she can easily be transferred to the emergency department, Manion said.

Elsewhere, on the New Hampshire side of the Upper Valley, the Valley Regional Hospital has a walk-in clinic in Claremont, and the Springfield, VT medical system has one in Charlestown. The for-profit organization ClearChoiceMD, based in New London, has a clinic on Miracle Mile in Lebanon and ConvenientMD, based in Portsmouth, NH, which is also for profit, is expected to open a clinic on Route 12A in the western Lebanon.

ConvenientMD, which in eight years has grown from one clinic to 30, announced in a press release last month that it had received an investment from Boston-based Bain Capital Double Impact to enable the company to grow. to develop and, in doing so, “to make health care more affordable.” and accessible, and opening new locations in underserved areas.

The company is set to open 50 more clinics in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts over the next five years, the statement said.

“In addition to increasing their footprint, the investment will help ConvenientMD evolve from its roots of emergency care to continuous, value-based primary care,” the statement said.

For-profit emergency care centers and nonprofit critical access hospitals have sometimes come into conflict in some New Hampshire communities, such as Littleton and Belmont, as for-profit facilities, which have fewer overhead and may refuse patients with no ability to pay, have established clinics nearby.

But Manion said his hospital doesn’t feel that kind of threat. “We really don’t have anything close to us,” he said.

He said he expects the clinic to break even or a little better.

In addition to renovating the two suites, which were previously only used periodically by visiting specialists, the hospital is also preparing to add a new sidewalk in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as four new parking spaces. . The clinic is expected to use an entrance from County Road in New London.

The New London Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan for the project at its May 25 meeting.

While not sure exactly when the new clinic will open, Manion said, “It will be this summer.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.


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