The CHRISTUS Spohn Health System operates a 6-hospital system in and around Corpus Christi, TX. Freestanding emergency rooms were opening around them and they wanted to evaluate an urgent care strategy to better compete. They were concerned that opening urgent care locations themselves would cannibalize their emergency departments and some rural health clinics that they operated in the outlying markets.
The CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is a dominant provider in the greater Corpus Christi, TX market but competition had been opening free standing emergency rooms and had caused some shifting in payor mix. They wanted to evaluate the opportunity for developing urgent care but were concerned about the impact they would have on their own emergency departments in their hospitals.
We analyzed a database of a full year’s worth of hospital emergency department encounters from all locations, sorted them by presenting diagnoses and address to ascertain what patients were coming to the emergency room for and where they were coming from to be treated. We were able to reference this information back to our own urgent care database so as to see what percent of the business could be treated in the urgent care setting. We further compared payor mix and payment rates to establish the exact financial impact of any shift and also answer questions as to the probability of any impact of such a move.
Additionally, we were able to identify several area industries that were pursuing employer-based clinic strategies and were able to facilitate internal discussions to formulate a strategy to respond.