We were told that recent changes to the US healthcare system would result in some serious strain on the system for doctors and hospitals.
Here in Navarre, we are unfortunately now seeing some businesses crack under the pressure.
In one month, we have learned of two significant closures just in our area. For several years, we have been very blessed to have an Open MRI facility here in our town. I am sorry to say that service is now closed forever. You may not know that these stand-alone facilities are not extremely lucrative; Medicare (and other insurances like Tricare) actually pay such places at a lower rate than a hospital-owned MRI. So while it was already difficult for such local places to tread water before the Affordable Care Act, I'm afraid the latest changes of Obamacare were the final nail in the coffin. Upon hearing of the impending closure, I called a local hospital executive in an effort to keep our access to local MRIs available. I was simply told "There's no money in MRIs anymore".
The same week, I was stunned to learn that our local urgent care was also going away. For years, Navarre has had a freestanding urgent care center building run by Baptist Hospital, often to varying degrees of success. After some significant feedback from the community (and me), a determined effort was made to open the Baptist Urgent Care Navarre, a facility to provide after hours and weekend care for our families. While there are other businesses that claim to provide urgent care services or "quick care", the Baptist facility was the only one to actually have a physician see the patients. Also, the level of equipment and resources was on par with what one would expect from an urgent care. It was actually my hope that in our lifetime, the facility would eventually upgrade to 24 hour service and perhaps be the basis for a future hospital in Navarre. Nevertheless, after a year of providing high quality services to the people of Navarre, an executive decision was made to pull the plug on the urgent care idea, starting in July. Again, financial considerations in the wake of Obamacare seemed to be the deciding factor.
While it's too late to save the Open MRI center, it's not too late to save our Baptist Urgent Care. When our child falls and hurts his ankle at 6 pm, we don't want to go sit in the ER 30minutes away. We also don't want to see someone who's not a doctor to guess what's wrong. We have been very blessed to have Baptist and their high quality of care in our region for so long. I've heard nothing but praise for Dr. Olsen and the care he's provided to our sickest patients afterhours. If you value having a high quality, reputable urgent care center in your backyard, staffed by board certified physicians, with all the equipment of an ER with IVs, CT, and labs, then join with me in contacting Baptist's CEO, Mark Faulkner, at 434-4011. Let him know that the current afterhours urgent care, as an alternative to an ER trip, is what Navarre needs, not another medical office.