Baptist Health is partnering with Urgent Team, an independent extended hours medical provider, to open a new Baptist Health Urgent Care facility in North Little Rock, with more on the way.
The North Little Rock location will remain open on weekday nights until 7 or 8 p.m. and for eight hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays, said Tom Dent, chairman and CEO of Urgent Team. It will be a full-service facility with x-rays and laboratory and at least one physician or nurse practitioner on duty at all times. Dent said it would be a cheaper alternative to emergency rooms.
Dent said he hopes the North Little Rock location will open in the November-December time frame, with more Baptist-Urgent Team partnerships opening in the future. He said he was looking at opening three to five other sites over the next 12-18 months in central Arkansas, including the Bryant-Benton area.
The three-year-old company has 20 locations, including 10 in Arkansas that aren’t affiliated with Baptist Health, with the others in Tennessee and Mississippi. The company is based in Nashville, Tenn.
“Arkansas is a really important state to us,” he said in an interview. “We like the state, the market. There’s an existing need there, and so we’re planning to continue to grow significantly in the state of Arkansas over the next couple of years.”
Dent said that the company is addressing an expanding consumer movement in health care and is taking advantage of more people seeking care as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“Health care has been evolving in this country and continues to evolve, and I think patients and consumers of health care want the same convenience in health that they get for grocery shopping and other forms of services,” he said.
The North Little Rock location initially will be composed of about eight staff members that will grow to as many as 15.