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HMG ceases urgent care operations in Weber City

Wes Bunch • Jun 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM

WEBER CITY — Holston Medical Group says a recent decision to cease urgent care operations at its Weber City office should not negatively effect access to health care in Scott County.

HMG stopped the service, which was open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and combined it with one at its new medical plaza located 4.5 miles away on W. Stone Drive in Kingsport.

Holston Medical Group Executive Director Craig Kilgore said the move shouldn’t affect access to care and would have little bearing on patients who use the Weber City office.

“No facility has closed, our offices are still open over there,” Kilgore said. “We’re still adding new patients, we’re still accommodating people that have been coming to Holston Medical Group for years.”

Patients will also be able to schedule same-day appointments in most cases, he said.

The primary care portion of the office will continue to operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with four physicians on staff.

The decision to combine Weber City’s urgent care services with the new Kingsport location was based largely on seasonal considerations, Kilgore said.

“Some of it’s seasonal, and you see the impact of the cold and flu season and it causes us to look and see where we should deploy our resources,” he said. “Once you get past the winter time, you don’t need some of the urgent care services.”

LENOWISCO Health District Director Sue Cantrell said any adverse effects that the urgent care’s move could cause for Scott County are more or less mitigated by the close proximity of the new location.

“It is a short distance to (the new urgent care location), five to 10 minutes of driving is not a tremendous barrier,” Cantrell said. “When we’re looking at 25, 35 or 45 minute drives, that’s when it becomes a problem.”

Although the move leaves Scott County without an after- hours clinic, Kilgore said that could change when HMG’s new office in Duffield is completed later this year.

“Part of the thoughts that we had for that was not necessarily the designation of an urgent care, but offering some expanded hours of operation to better fit what the needs are for access to health care providers in that area,” he said. “We hope by the time that office opens late this summer or in the early fall we’ll be offering some service of that type.”

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