St. Charles Herald-Guide

Cheaper co-pays big draw for urgent care center

By Jonathan Menard - June 7, 2012

Victims of minor accidents who require stitches or treatment for burns will now have a cheaper option for emergency medical care.

Luling Urgent Care, located in the shopping center adjacent to Wal-Mart, opened Monday and offers treatment for abscesses, allergies, infections, the flu, simple fractures, sore throats and many other illnesses. The care center will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Barbara McKee, the Chief Operating Officer of Millennium Healthcare Management, who will run the facility, said co-pays for urgent care are routinely cheaper than co-pays for visits to a hospitalís emergency room.

"This is a really good alternative to emergency rooms because the wait times are shorter and the co-pays are less expensive," she said.

For example, McKee said that insurance co-pays for an ER visit can run around $150. Co-pays for urgent care can be as cheap as $35.

Luling Urgent Care is walk-in only and McKee said they can treat basically any non-life threatening illness or injury. Additionally, they offer drug screening, work physicals and immunizations for flu and other diseases.

The urgent care center will also have a lab and digital X-ray machine on site.

"If you canít get in to see your primary care physician, we are open after hours. Our goal is to get you back to your primary care physician," McKee said. "We donít necessarily treat chronic illnesses, but we do have patients who keep coming back because we offer a less expensive alternative."

The urgent care center will have a front desk clerk, nurse, X-ray technician and physician on staff at all times. McKee said Luling Urgent Care participates in most major insurance plans but that patients can also pay out of pocket.

Millennium Healthcare Management runs several urgent care facilities throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, including centers in New Orleans, Metairie and Kenner.

Dr. Brandon Haider is one of the physicians that will staff Luling Urgent Care. The new center offers treatments for a variety of cases like infections, simple fractures and sore throats.
Kyle Barnett
Dr. Brandon Haider is one of the physicians that will staff Luling Urgent Care. The new center offers treatments for a variety of cases like infections, simple fractures and sore throats.