University students now have multiple options for medical care on campus, with Baton Rouge General Express Care Urgent Care Clinic at Nicholson Gateway Apartments.
The clinic opened in February to provide University students and employees with fast, convenient medical care, said Joni Lemoine.
The care center specializes in treating serious, acute, non-life-threatening conditions like the flu or limb sprains, Lemoine said.
The clinic accepts most insurance and Tiger Cash for payment. If students do not have insurance or struggle financially, private pays are discounted, and before any care is administered, the physician will inform the student of the cost. A private pay occurs when a patient pays the full price of their appointment out-of-pocket.
“We let them know what are we about to do, how much would it cost at the discounted rate,” Lemoine said. “So we make sure that the patient is fully aware of everything that they’re responsible for before the procedure is performed.”
Urgent care clinics like the one at Nicholson Gateway have experienced a boom during the past decade. According to the Convenient Care Association, in 2010 there were 1,320 of these clinics. In the U.S. today, there are around 7,700.
Lemoine said doctor’s offices focus on speed and flexibility gained traction in the early 2000s once hospital administrators noticed the growing buildup of patients waiting in emergency rooms. Many of the patients did not have life-threatening issues, and so medical officials realized they could better serve these patients by cutting out unnecessary long waits.
“There was a lot of misutilization with emergency departments,” Lemoine said. “The primary care office closes at five on a Friday. You don’t have any access to healthcare unless you go to an emergency room.”
BRG worked with the LSU College of Engineering to optimize their urgent care clinics’ workflows, Lemoine said. For example, rather than the usual paperwork that fills doctor’s offices, Express Care uses a tablet and special software to sign-in patients and update their information.
In addition to its quick sign-in process, the clinic also boasts a special treatment known as hydration therapy. Lemoine said hydration therapy involves administering fluids, vitamins and minerals through an IV in order to quickly rejuvenate a person’s mental and physical energy.
The hydration therapy room has mood lighting, a Playstation and a big-screen TV for patients to relax during the procedure. Lemoine said University students receive a discount.
The Express Care Urgent Care Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It takes walk-ins or advance appointments.