Solantic opens urgent care center

Solantic
Solantic walk-in urgent care centers are growing – and fast; according to a press release received by Historic City News last week.

The new St. Augustine location is on U.S. Highway 1 South — adjacent to Walgreens at South Park.

Convenient health care has come to St. Johns County in the form of its first Solantic Walk-In Urgent Care Center. Currently the health care provider has 21 offices and 400 employees throughout Florida that will expand to 23 offices and an additional 30-40 employees before the end of the year.

“Things are going very well,” said Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.

The expansion comes at the best of times for the company as this time of year tends to be the busiest time with flus and colds circulating at a frenzied pace. Not to mention the strained economic times.

“I think the economy has certainly had an impact on people not wanting to go to the emergency room,” said Bowling, referencing a research study showing that of those who went to the emergency room with injuries treatable by Solantic offices, $112 million could have been saved. “Now, the insurance copays are about $300-$400 in an emergency room.”

Solantic bridges the gap between primary care physicians and emergency room visits by offering some of the same services found in a hospital at agreeable prices.

Solantic opened its doors in February 2002 with four clinics in North Florida. Today, its presence is felt from St. Augustine to Central and South Florida.

“Our philosophy is to keep it simple,” said Bowling, adding that the principle on which Solantic was founded was to provide people with convenient health care. “I mean, health care shouldn’t have to cost so much.”

Making health care comfortable is a top priority for Solantic. According to Bowling, the goal for all Solantic offices was to be put inside a community and in people’s neighborhoods with extended hours to allow for night and weekend hours.

“It’s a retail approach to health care,” said Bowling. “We like to make everything easy on the patients because, let’s face it, who wants to go to the doctor anyway?”

Some of the ways that the process has been made easier on patients are: a tool on Solantic’s Website that allows patients to check in over the Internet and receive a text message for when they can come in to see the doctor if there is a wait, televisions in every exam room (which Bowling says is on the way), blankets in the waiting room and refreshments.

And the expansions keep on coming. Solantic has plans to enter a joint venture with hospitals to co-own their urgency care centers. Also, according to Bowling, something is in the works for doctors to join a Solantic franchise.

Another first for Solantic is that one of the locations soon to open is at the Tampa Airport, making it the first walk-in urgent care center to be inside of an airport.

“We’re very excited to provide care for airport employees and travelers,” said Bowling, who also states that Solantic brings to its communities served a plethora of opportunities.

And it’s not just jobs that it brings to the community.

“There’s an access to health care and a way to save money by providing the opportunity for something other than the emergency room,” said Bowling. “Sometimes there are problems that just come up and primary care physicians have appointments all day and you can’t afford to go to the emergency room.”

Self-pay patients’ prices range from $69 to $189 but most insurance is accepted.

For more information on Solantic, visit www.solantic.com or call 1-866-SOLANTIC.

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