Hometown Urgent Care: Manoj Kumar, CEO

by HCE Exchange on November 8, 2011

“It Shouldn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg to Have a Broken One Treated”

Hometown Urgent Care, based in Dayton, Ohio, seeks to be more than your average urgent-care facility. Instead, Hometown seeks to deliver what it calls “The Complete Visit.”

According to Hometown’s website, www.hometownurgentcare.com, the organization is the largest urgent-care company in the state of Ohio. Founded in 2005, Hometown’s purpose from the beginning was to successfully manage and run Urgent Care and Occupational Health Centers. Hometown is backed by a business arrangement with Miami Valley Urgent Care.

Convenience for the patients

Within six years, Hometown has embedded its footprint on Ohio’s healthcare map. In Columbus, Hometown operates seven centers. Ten offices can be found in the Dayton area, and a few others can be found at other points around Ohio. With the exception of a few locations, each center is opened seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Because many emergency-room visits are for matters that are less than fatal, Hometown seeks to be a cheaper and more efficient alternative. For example, a visit to the average ER for a minor injury would cost someone $1200 or more, whereas a visit to Hometown will cost that person at most $200. Furthermore, the average wait time is reduced from two to four hours in an ER to 30 minutes or less at a Hometown Center. The average co-pay at a Hometown center is one-third cheaper than an ER co-pay, ranging from $20-$50, whereas an ER ranges from $75-$150.

Each center provides treatment for any minor injury or illness, whether it’s a cut or a sprain, an infection or a cough. Each center is equipment with labs and on-site prescriptions, EKGs, and X-Rays. Patients do not have to make an appointment to receive these services.

When it comes to insurance matters, Hometown’s fully staffed billing department will walk patients through the process, from start to finish. If a patient is uninsured and self-pay, Hometown offers services at discounted rate. They also offer a free Care-Card program.

Helping hospitals and PCPs

If Hometown is providing care for minor injuries and illnesses, then this relieves stress from hospital ERs that are often bogged down with cases that distract from more severe and life-threatening incidents.

As the Hometown website puts it, the centers’ services help a hospital “focus on the patients who need you the most.” It also quotes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as stating, “68 percent of the people who visit an ER do not need to be there.”

More so than hospitals, primary-care physicians may see urgent care as competition. Not so, Hometown feels. Instead, they can provide care for patients when a PCP is not on duty, when the PCP’s office is closed, or it is after-hours. Hometown sees itself as a complement to the work of PCPs, and they promise to always follow up with the PCP.

Supporting employers

Hometown is also concerned about workplace safety. Therefore, the centers’ services don’t just stop at treating work-related injuries. Hometown also wants to help employers reach their safety goals.

To that end, Hometown has a team of Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)-certified physicians and staff members who are well-versed in BWC protocol. Services include providing First Report of Injury (FROI) within 48 hours, consistent communication with the employer, employee data collection and reporting, transitional work assignments, BWC claims assistance, and rehab updates.

Physicians and staff members are also well-versed in the OSHA 300 log and the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, not to mention specializing in all drug programs required by OSHA and the DOT.

Hometown can provide back evaluations and ergonomic assessments, functional capacity evaluations (FCE), hearing exams, pulmonary function tests (PFT), respiratory evaluations, and wellness screenings.

Hometown can also perform flu shots, tetanus shots, hepatitis A and B shots, and TB shots. As with its patients, Hometown’s services save employers time and money.

According to the website, Hometown vows to “provide a comprehensive illness and injury recovery plan that returns the patient to work as quickly as possible, without compromising the quality of patient care.”

Focused on research

Hometown Urgent Care is also dedicated to research. In fact, the organization has established a division, Hometown Urgent Care & Research (HUCR), devoted to this end.

Hometown’s website describes HUCR as “state-of-the-art clinical research company dedicated to adult, pediatric, and geriatric phase II-III-IV clinical trials, with specialties in family practice, urgent care, pain management, infusion, CNS, oncology, and radiology.”

With eight full-time physicians who specialize in family practice, internal medicine, and anesthesiology, along with the benefit of being able to use Hometown’s fully equipped centers, HUCR is fulfilling its foundational goal of becoming a leading clinical-research company.

-by Pete Fernbaugh

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