OrthoNowRI, the orthopedic urgent care facility and ER alternative
PROVIDENCE – Envision the following scenario: You have just picked up your child from his afterschool program when he starts complaining of ankle pain. You take a look at the problem only to realize that you have no idea whether little Aaron has a twisted ankle or a case of toddler-itis. You think, better to be safe than sorry, right? You can either spend your night in an emergency room and end up with a huge bill or stop by OrthoNowRI, an after-hours orthopedic care facility located on the Providence-Pawtucket line. The Jewish Voice spoke with Dr. Steven Blazar, the CEO of OrthoNowRI and a spine surgeon at Orthopedic Group Inc., about the type of services the practice offers and the benefits of choosing OrthoNowRI over the emergency room.
Blazar explains that OrthoNowRI is a response to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Their practice addresses the three main tenets of the healthcare reform: access, quality and cost. OrthoNowRI fits in nicely with the concept of an Accountable Care Organization. Blazar continued, “When a hospital or a large primary care practice gets together with an insurance company, both sides share risk to manage a given population.” Such an organization can serve as an alternative to the emergency room. While Blazar acknowledges that emergency rooms provide a very important service to the community, as a health care professional, he knows that, sometimes, people’s needs can be handled using more effective methods.
When primary care practices share risk with insurance companies, they want to ascertain that patients get high-quality care and access in an efficient and economical manner. Blazer added, “In many instances, people will go to the emergency room, and the physician will stabilize the individual and, more often than not, will end up referring the patient to an orthopedic specialist.” With OrthoNowRI, there’s no need for multiple office visits. You can have an appointment on a walk-in basis and have immediate access to an orthopedic physician’s assistant. If you require an x-ray, you don’t need to drive to another facility – the practice has the equipment, so you can be diagnosed right away. Since OrthoNowRI’s professionals understand these types of injuries better than non-specialists, they will treat them right the first time. You will not only save money, but also heal faster.
While the brand-new facility (at the time of the interview, OrthoNowRI had been operating for only two weeks) is currently open on weekday nights, Blazar says that they have designed the ability to increase hours, as well as days, into their strategic plan. “If the demand is there, we will expand and maybe even include weekend hours,” he promises.
Since this is the only facility of its kind in R.I. and Mass., it’s likely that people will start taking advantage of the convenience. Already, patients come in with work-related trauma, such as hand injuries. If people get hurt, they don’t have to wait until they can get an appointment – they can just walk in. While the practice is not prepared to handle open fractures, spinal and head trauma or broken bones (better to go to the ER for those), the most common injuries they treat include fractures, sprains and strains.
Also, people will come in just to make sure that their injury is nothing serious. They can afford to visit since the practice accepts most major insurances and charges the co-pay a patient would normally spend for a regular office visit.
If someone who comes in does need the attention of an orthopedic surgeon, OrthoNowRI can get them on the schedule of Orthopedic Group as early as the next day. If patients would prefer to see an alternate provider, the practice would send their notes to their provider’s office to document received treatment. So, if you are ever in doubt whether you need a cast, surgery or rehab, you know what to do – visit OrthoNowRI and get a definitive diagnosis on the spot.
OrthoNowRI is located at 588 Pawtucket Ave., Pawtucket, open Monday through Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Call 495-1700.
Editor’s note: This is one of a series of profiles of local businesses, some of which advertise in The Jewish Voice.
AFTER HOURS SERVICES
• Broken bones • Sprains • Sports injuries • Shoulder injuries • Hand & wrist injuries • Knee injuries • Foot & ankle injuries • More…