New managers at Urgent Care

MINDEN - Improvements are under way for Minden Urgent Care two months after Physicians Select Management took over running the emergency room in the Minden Medical Center.

Dr. Joseph Heflin, medical director of the urgent care center, said the center is already running more efficiently.

"I think things are going great. We have a very experienced nursing team, great front office personnel, great administrators and new physicians," Heflin said.

Heflin said the center hired one new full-time doctor and one part-time doctor.

Michael Miescier came to the urgent care center directly from his residency in pediatrics and internal medicine at the University of Utah. He graduated from the Medical College of Virginia.

"He is right out of his residency and very competent to treat both adult and pediatric problems. Patient response has been excellent. He has a very good bedside manner," Heflin said.

Dr. Tom Walsh of Smith Valley is the new part-time family practitioner with 15 years experience, Heflin said.

n Streamlined expenses. Heflin said the urgent care has been attempting to recover from the $40,000-$50,000 a month losses experienced before Carson-Tahoe Hospital asked Physicians Select to take over the management.

And, although it is too early to say how they are going to come out, Heflin said the expenses have been streamlined.

"And that is going to reflect back on the patient. It will make it more affordable," Heflin said.

Physicians Select representative Leonard Hamer said business has already increased and the center will not turn away any patient who needs help, "regardless of their ability to pay."

The center will also offer outreach services such as wellness fairs, flu vaccinations, educational seminars and speakers.

Hamer said Physicians Select continues to work closely with C-TH, which still owns the center.

He said the hospital came to the management group because managing urgent care centers is their specialty, and has been for 20 years.

"They did come to us and ask us if we were willing to participate based on our background in management. We have very high quality and keep services affordable and we believe we will be able to have a positive effect on the center," Hamer said.

He said the company, which is based in Carson City, has been involved in setting up urgent care centers, creating information systems, billing services and developing business plans with many other hospitals.

Heflin said the community seems to like the changes so far.

"People have called me and said they liked the staff and being able to be seen in an efficient manner and they were pleased with the reduced cost," he said.

He encouraged anyone with comments to call him at the care center at 783-7800.

"If a patient has any concerns, they should feel free to call me with input. We just want to make it better," Heflin said.

Physicians Select Management has an 18-month contract with the hospital, Hamer said, with the option to renew and take on more responsibility following that. However, he wants to assure the community, "We're in it long-term."


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