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ExpressCare’s future unclear

With a decrease in the number of patients seen at Powell Valley Healthcare’s ExpressCare Clinic, PVHC leaders are considering other options for meeting same-day patient needs.

“We’re looking at what to do with ExpressCare,” said PVHC Executive Director Terry Odom. “Volume in ExpressCare is half of what it was a couple years ago.”

Two subcommittees are considering different options, Odom said. One is looking at the possibility of seeing urgent-care patients in the Emergency Department, and the other is evaluating the option of seeing urgent-care patients in primary care at Powell Valley Clinic.

Dr. Mark Wurzel, ExpressCare physician, is serving on the team considering the Emergency Room option; Mike Gilmore, vice president for outpatient services, is serving on the team evaluating the primary care clinic option.

Odom said PVHC patients now are able to see a doctor on the same day that they call for an appointment.

“Now we have primary care that has a lot of access, so we need to see how to best see all the patients,” she said. “We should have a decision, maybe by April, and I don’t know what that decision will be.”

While it is difficult to identify precisely the cause or causes of the decrease in the number of patients seen at the ExpressCare Clinic, Odom said patient volume at the clinic likely has been affected by the addition of two new clinics — 307Health and Heritage Health — two years ago.

Odom said it’s too early to know what effect the loss of the Veterans Affairs clinic will have on Powell Valley Healthcare.

“We think it will take about 90 days,” she said.

A new community based outreach clinic for veterans opened in Cody in December.

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