Geisinger Medical Center has extended its footprint just a bit more into Lycoming County with the opening of Careworks Walk-in Clinic in the city.
The facility at 1824 W. Third St., which opened in early May, provides basic health care services for patients with colds, sore throats, minor cuts and wounds, sprains, allergies, asthma and infections.
Careworks also will help prevent over-crowding in hospital emergency rooms.
"We try to make it easy. We try to make it convenient," said Careworks CEO Ken Berndt.
No appointments are necessary.
The 2,000-square-foot facility includes two examination rooms, a laboratory, an X-ray room and reception area.
Officials made it clear that the clinic will not replace emergency room care, but it does take pressure off them.
"It was built to keep people out of emergency rooms," Berndt said.
That leads to savings in costs for both patients and health care institutions.
Too often, people access emergency rooms for medical needs that could otherwise be done by a primary care physician.
But many patients, including the uninsured don't have physicians and have nowhere else to turn but emergency rooms for care
Geisinger officials claim the clinic provides quick and convenient access.
"Usually people can get in right away or within 15 minutes," Berndt said.
Patients also can come to the clinics for immunizations, which fits into the preventative care philosophy of the clinics.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Berndt said some Careworks clinics at one time stayed open later, but officials found that few patients use them after 8 p.m.
The site will be staffed by a nurse, radiology technologist and either a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
It becomes the 11th Careworks in the Geisinger network.
Eventually, the total will reach 26.
Overall, the clinics are expected to create more than 100 new jobs.
Another Careworks is set to open in State College later this month.
Tom Sokola, Geisinger Medical Center chief administrative officer, called Careworks "innovative care."
"It's a different world we live in," he said. "It really provides quick access."
Berndt said the Careworks location along Williamsport's Golden Strip makes it convenient to patients and close to many people.
"We literally accept everyone's insurance," he said.
Insured patients only pay their primary care co-pay.
For the uninsured, a $69 patient fee will be assessed with additional costs for any other services.
A ribbon-cutting for the clinic was held May 31.