By Sullivan Alexander, Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
Sullivan Alexander, Contributor for the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Doctor Len Jurkowski, Medical Director of MD Today Urgent Care located in San Diego,CA.
- 1. About the interviewee.
Len Jurkowski MD has been practicing medicine for over 25 years and graduated from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1995 he moved to San Diego County and started his family practice. Len has served as medical director for a number of organizations throughout his career including Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA and presently, MD Today Urgent Care, SanDiego.
- 2. Describethe business model including (products or services offered, number of employees, location, type of customers you work with, etc.).
In 2012, Len decided to open his own urgent care with the help of his wife, a few dedicated staff members, and XiMED Medical Group, an independent physician association dedicated to excellence in medicine. Urgent care clinics began to spring up sometime after the managed care era and now number in the several-of-thousands and are continuing to grow. They are popular because of their patient-centered emphasis, which encompasses same-day appointments (or walk-ins), expanded capabilities, and affordability when compared to the ER.
MD Today Urgent Care opened it’s doors in September of 2012 and offers walk-in medical services for just about any non-life threatening situation. Our urgent care is able to offer basic labs, sutures (stitches), and x-rays – services far beyond of that of a normal primary care physician’s office.
We’re located in a wonderful neighborhood within San Diego called Scripps Ranch. Urgent Care has a close proximity target market, so this is where a majority of our patients come from. We accept Medicare, Tricare (military), and PPO insurance. We also have special rates for cash paying patients, something we may see more of if young people ‘opt out’ nextyear.
We currently have around 15 employees. 6 physicians that cover our 8am-8pm M-F and 8am-6pm weekend and holidayhours.
- 3. Describe for us the challenges you see facing health care practitioners and the state of readiness to deal with anticipated increased demand for medical services.
The challenges do not have so much to do with the increased demand for medical services, as they do with increased regulatory burden on providers and the specific demand that is being increased. According to estimates, half of the uninsured populations receiving coverage from the PPACA are coming from Medicaid. So, if you were to ask a Medicaid provider this question, their answer might be very different. The biggest concern would be for demand to be concentrated on a limited number ofproviders.
We are ready for an increased demand, excited even, but the very ill and vulnerable populations that health care reform has been designed to target and help should know what they are purchasing when they go to healthcare.gov or their state exchange. It’s yet to be seen, but lapse of coverage, rising premiums, and even reduced benefits are bound to happen in someinstances.
- 4. Tell us about the innovative solutions or services your company designed for customers.
All of our patients have access to their medical records through our EMR’s patient portal.
The urgent care business model is patient-centered, rather than the old model, which is physician-centered.
Convenient hours and capabilities of services make our urgent care an ideal choice when compared to a normal physician’soffice.
We’ve partnered with XiMED Medical Group to offer same-day referrals to other independent multi-specialtyphysicians.
While other providers are shifting care to lower level providers (granted, we may have to some day too), our patients are only seen by experienced physicians (No NP’s orPA’s).
Patients easily schedule appointments online (up-to-date wait times comingsoon!)
- 5. What potential road blocks do you see in helping practitioners toimprove their readiness?
Regulations and uncertainty are two things that I can see being potential roadblocks. If law makers do not know what is in the law (health care reform), how should a physician? How should apatient?
Patients health literacy needs to increase during the coming years that will have a lasting affect on healthcare reform. Providers need access to well-defined, high quality information so they can execute it effectively. Without transparency and a clear path, health care reform is bound to feel like we took a wrong turn down a bumpyroad.
- What do you see as “hot button” issues in your industry, and what are the implications?
Provide, or not to provide, that is the question. Provider supply will be one issue. Will the onslaught of projected newly insured have the care when they receiveinsurance?
If there is a massive increase in Medicaid patients with the same number of providers, how will that work? Will that be more or less sustainable than the system we hadbefore?
Young people and providers could opt out in 2014, which is pennies on the dollar when compared to the disruption of care that will take place when the employer mandate kicks in later next year. If the roll out does not turn around soon, It could have a negative snow-ball effect when employers are forced to make a decision nextyear.
- 6. What makes your business different from the competition?
MD Today Urgent Care is dedicated to the highest quality patient care provided by experienced, certified physicians. We also stay actively engaged in our community supporting local sport teams and organizations that enrich our local civic society. Finally, we’re able to provide affordable urgent care, family practice, and occupational health services to all our patients in one convenientlocation.
MD Today UrgentCare
10605 Scripps PowayParkway
San Diego, CA92131
Sullivan Alexander is a contributor on the Price of Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), whom you can learn more about at www.contureadvisors.com.
Sponsored by the Price of Business, on Bloomberg’s home in Houston,TX