The benefits of “After-hours” Health Care

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“After-hours care” refers to care for medical problems arising after 5 p.m. and on weekends that could be appropriately managed by the patient’s primary care physician/team.

Health problems developing outside of normal business hours are a leading cause of ER visits. Many acute complaints seen in the ER, including stomach and abdominal pain, fever, cough, and headache are commonly and typically managed by Primary Care Physicians. Continuity of primary care (care received by the same physician/team), including care received outside usual business hours, is associated with improved patient outcomes and lower ER use for non-urgent problems.

The high rates of ER use for non-urgent, after-hours care contributes to fragmentation of patient care, inefficient use of resources and higher spending since ER visits cost more than primary care visits. Offering after-hours access for select primary care services, including telephone access and expanded clinic hours, helps eliminate many costly ER visits while improving continuity of patient care.

MEHOP Family Medicine clinic (1700 Golden Ave. in Bay City) offers after hours care Monday through Friday 4pm – 8:30pm, Saturday’s 7am-4pm and Sunday’s 8am – 12pm for adults and children. Same day appointments are also available in all MEHOP clinics during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. If MEHOP patients have a medical question/concern that arises after normal business hours and is unable to wait until the following business day, they may contact MEHOP after hours on-call personnel for assistance as well. MEHOP accepts Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance. If you are uninsured or have limited insurance benefits, MEHOP offers discounts (sliding fees) for services based on household size and income if eligible. For additional information please call 979-245-2008 or visit www.mehop.org.

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