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ChristianaCare planning several new urgent care centers in Delaware

Delaware Public Media

ChristianaCare is looking to add more urgent care centers across the state of Delaware.

The First State’s largest health system is partnering with the national urgent care company GoHealth. 

The two organizations are planning to rebrand and upgrade all five existing ChristianaCare medical aid units with new technology and care delivery. The partnership also plans to build several new urgent care facilities throughout the state and in surrounding areas over the next few years.

ChristianaCare COO Sharon Kurfuerst says there’s a dearth of high quality urgent care facilities in some parts of Delaware including the city of Wilmington.

“So we’ll be doing a pretty thorough assessment of where there’s a need for urgent care services, but we do anticipate the city of Wilmington will be one of those locations,” said Kurfuerst.

Plans to add free standing emergencies departments in Sussex County did not clear state approval last year with Delaware Health Resources Board members saying the plans would not help reduce the rising cost of health care in Delaware.

Kurfuerst says urgent care facilities are a cost saving alternative to free standing emergency departments when it comes to treating non-life-threatening illnesses. She adds patient visits at the new centers are expected to last less than an hour.

“We know that providing care in a shorter more directed episode of care in an urgent care setting is less costly than an emergency department where there’s clearly more overhead and those sites are designed for more complex care,” said Kurfuerst.

The state does not currently regulate urgent care centers the way that it does other medical facilities, but that could change with a new bill introduced in Delaware’s General Assembly. The new measure sponsored by state Sen. Nicole Poore (D) would require a license from the state and an accreditation to operate an urgent care center.

Kurfuerst says ChristianaCare supports the legislation.

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