JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

August 7, 1998

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Hopkins, "Patient First" Open New Immediate Care Center In Perry Hall

The second of a planned 12-center network of immediate medical care centers for central Maryland developed by Patient First Corporation of Richmond, Va., in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine will open Friday, August 7 in Perry Hall. The freestanding center is located on Belair Road in the Perry Hall Crossing Shopping Center.

The first Patient First center, located in Johns Hopkins' Green Spring Station office complex in Lutherville, has been in operation for three years.

Patients can use Patient First centers for routine injuries and illnesses on a non-appointment basis from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year. Laboratory, X-ray and prescription services are on-site. Patient First physicians also serve as primary care providers under several health maintenance organization plans.

The new center will provide services through physician practice groups drawn from the community. Hopkins will not own the practices, but as part of the network agreement will be designated a "preferred provider." Patients requiring health care services beyond the capabilities of community-based physicians or hospitals may be referred to Hopkins for specialized care.

According to Patient First CEO Pete Sowers, M.D., Patient First is popular among patients because of convenience, and among employers because care is available after business hours. "Patient First is also a cost-effective alternative to the emergency room for many routine problems," he said, "generating significant savings that are increasingly attractive to patients. Patient First views itself as complementing the existing physician community when patients are unable to see their family doctor. They will have a convenient alternative and follow-up care is arranged back with patients' personal physicians."

Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, said the partnership underscores Hopkins' commitment to build bridges to the community.

"Patient First has a community orientation with regard not only to working with local primary care physicians but also with regard to referrals to local specialists and hospitals for care beyond its scope," he said. "This is entirely consistent with Hopkins' strategy of building a genuinely cooperative integrated delivery system in Maryland that meets the medical and health care needs of its citizens."

"We want to continue to develop these community-oriented partnerships to insure our long-term success in the new era of managed care," Peterson continued. "We also want access to popular provider networks for the various different independent and insurance-based products we have and hope to develop under the Hopkins name."

Hopkins and Patient First officials said three more Patient First centers are currently in various stages of construction. These offices are located in Bel Air, Laurel, and Owings Mills.


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