Doctors Express Urgent Care Opens in Seattle as Convenient, Affordable Alternative to ER

State-of-the-Art Queen Anne Facility Features Short Wait Times, Extended Hours and Physicians On Site 365 Days a Year to Treat Urgent, Non Life-Threatening Conditions

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - January 31, 2011) - Amid a period of turbulence for America's health care system, and as the family doctor becomes more over-loaded and less accessible, a new state-of-the art medical center is opening its doors, with the promise to dramatically improve access and affordability for those seeking urgent care in Seattle.

Doctors Express, part of a nationwide network of urgent care centers, opens locally in lower Queen Anne Friday, Feb. 19 as a Seattle urgent care center that helps redefine the patient experience. The new center, at 610 1st Avenue North (above Metropolitan Market), is the first Doctors Express location in the Pacific Northwest and the 25th nationwide.

"Doctors Express bridges the gap between a primary doctors' office and the emergency room, and does it in a patient-focused way that ensures high-quality, convenient, affordable treatment in a comfortable setting," said Dr. Michael Sthay, owner and medical director of the new Doctors Express in Seattle. "A primary difference between Doctors Express and other walk-in care options is that every single patient at Doctors Express is seen and diagnosed by an experienced physician, not a Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant as is often the case. In addition, we have X-rays and labs right on site, enabling us to quickly and effectively treat non-life threatening, yet urgent injuries and ailments in a single visit."

Doctors Express treats urgent medical needs ranging from acute illness, such as the flu or stomach bugs, to broken bones, cuts, burns, rashes, bites and more. The physicians at Doctors Express are able to write a prescription for patients if necessary, but do not dispense medications on site, and do not treat chronic pain or other conditions requiring narcotics. No appointments are needed, the average wait time is just 15-25 minutes, and the Center is open 365 days a year including extended evening and weekend hours. The Center accepts most major insurance, and also sees non-insured and other patients wishing to self-pay.

"If a condition requires a test or additional treatment, our Physician will let patients know the cost ahead of time," noted Dr. Sthay. "When patients check-out, they will know exactly how much the entire bill is -- with no additional fees that pop up months after a visit."

Doctors Express' objective is to provide increased accessibility and convenience for those people who cannot get into their doctors office due to overloaded schedules, off-hours or lack of insurance, yet their condition does not require a full trip to the ER.

"In my many years as an ER doctor, many patients who came for treatment did not have life-threatening injuries and could have been perfectly served at an urgent care center in a much shorter time, and at a much lower cost. The average visit to Doctors Express is about a third of the cost of an ER trip, and more aligned with a typically doctor's office fee," noted Dr. Sthay.

Consider:

  • A recent study by the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, found that nearly 20% of all emergency room visits could have been treated at retail clinic, amounting to $4.4 billion in savings in consumers' medical bills.
  • According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the number of U.S. medical school students going into primary care has dropped 51.8% over the past decade and there is a predicted shortage of 40,000 family physicians by 2020.
  • The CDC attributes the increase in ER visits partly to the difficulty patients have getting an appointment with their primary physician.
  • More than 50 million U.S. residents do not have medical insurance, according to the Census Bureau.

Doctors Express also provides travel medicine, sports physicals, drug and STD testing, occupational medical services, as well as scheduled pre-operative exams in conjunction with surgical specialists. The Doctors Express in Seattle includes four treatment rooms in its 2,400-square foot facility, free parking at the front door, and is conveniently located next to a 24-hour Bartell's pharmacy. Doctors Express hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Patients may call 206-283-7000 or visit www.DoctorsExpressSeattle.com for more information.

About Doctors Express

Doctors Express is the first national urgent care franchise that offers a consistent, broad range of treatment and service on the spot, while ensuring patient care is always provided by an experienced physician. With urgent care facilities across the US, at Doctors Express a Board Certified, experienced medical professional is on-site at all times, guaranteeing the highest quality medical care available. Doctors Express provides treatment for injuries and illnesses while offering a convenient, lower-cost alternative to visiting a hospital emergency room.

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