RUMFORD — A new walk-in clinic for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries has opened at Rumford Hospital.

“Urgent Care is a medical alternative for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries when provider offices are closed or if you don’t have a physician or are visiting the area,” said Sue Rivet, director of outpatient services for Bridgton and Rumford.

The goal of Urgent Care is to provide affordable health care for children and adults with, but not limited to, sore throats, ear aches, flu symptoms, minor cuts and bruises, minor infections, urinary tract infections, allergies, tick bites, simple fractures and skin rashes.

Rumford Urgent Care, which opened Nov. 3, is the second Central Maine HealthCare Urgent Care to open and is developed on the same model as Bridgton Hospital.

It is on the second floor in the Specialty Clinic Wing of Rumford Hospital. The walk-in clinic also provides an alternative to high-cost emergency room visits.

Urgent Care will be staffed with physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. The newly remodeled waiting room includes a television and tables. The phone number is 207-369-1127.


Clinic hours will increase with demand of services.

Rivet, who also set up the Urgent Care facility in Bridgton, said, “40 percent of our patients in emergency care right now are really Urgent Care level visits — ear aches, sore throats, etc.

“What we found was, we were bringing people in who were on their way home, didn’t have time to go to the doctors, didn’t want to lose work,” she said.

Advantages with Urgent Care compared to Emergency Room care are patients get in and out faster, as well as lower costs.

“We want to decrease costs, with Obamacare coming, (there are) more people with insurance. People still have high co-pays with Obamacare. It doesn’t mean it’s affordable, but they have coverage if it’s something that’s large, big and expensive,” Rivet said.

“With that, we want to try to contain the cost as much as possible for people so that it makes it affordable … It’s practical for the patient and practical for the hospital. It’s less overhead, so we can provide that care at lesser cost,” she said.


Rivet said Urgent Care is modeled like a physician office; same pricing as a physician office.

“What I found, by history, insurance companies are now picking up on the Urgent Care. They’re encouraging people to use the Urgent Care,” she said. “Now what we’re starting to see on insurance cards is Urgent Care co-pays. It’s either the same as in physician’s practice or between a physician’s practice and an emergency room co-pay.”

Asked about opening Urgent Care at the start of flu season and with the Ebola scare, Rivet said, “Actually, it’s going to be good. Are we going to see Ebola in this area? We don’t know. We could.

“The good part is, about being here, the documentation in Urgent Care is the physician practice record,” she said. If the patient’s doctor practices locally, Urgent Care will have the medical record. “When they come in, our doc will send them a flag, ‘I saw your patient last night …,’ so there’s always going to be that continuity of care.”

If a patient doesn’t have a primary physician and they come to Urgent Care, Rivet said the initial paperwork requires about seven to 10 minutes to take information orally.

“We encourage them to get a primary care physician, but in the generation today, a lot of them want it now,” she said. “They want service now and don’t want to have to bother with an appointment.”


“And some people don’t want a primary care physician. They don’t want to be told that they need to quit smoking. They want to go in, deal with the problem at the time, and be done with it. And we do see that in Urgent Care. They’re not interested in that annual physical. They want to take care of what’s wrong today,” Rivet said.

“If they don’t have a primary care physician, we certainly will follow up with them. They’re welcome to come here for a followup. If it’s something orthopedic, like a small fracture or something, we’ll get them in and refer them to orthopedics and encourage them to get a primary care physician. But we could do their followup if we needed to,” she said.

Illnesses and injuries not treated in Urgent Care include chest pain, neck pain, headaches, including migraines, head injuries, bleeding issues and broken bones.

“We do not do narcotic refills. We don’t prescribe narcotics,” Rivet said. “If they need to be referred, we can refer them. If they already have a doctor and they have a contract with a physician for their narcotics, we’ll not refill. They go back and see their primary care,” she said.

“My guess is that we’re probably going to go full time quickly. We already have another provider getting credentialed to come on board at the end of December. So we’re thinking that by the end of December that we’ll be full time,” she said.

Full-time hours will be weekdays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rivet said there are about 9,000 Urgent Care clinics in the country, including those in Waterville, Windham, Gorham and in Wal-Mart in Auburn.

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