The new health care facility is scheduled to open in November.
BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Halifax Health will open an Ormond Beach walk-in clinic in November, called Halifax Health Care Now.
Located in the Reunion Bank building, on West Granada Boulevard, the clinic is meant to expand primary-care options in the area and cut down on unnecessary emergency room visits, according to Barbara Zdanis, who will run the facility.
“Our goal is to keep people out of the hospital,” she said.
John Guthrie, director of corporate communications for Halifax Health, said the company has identified a local need.
“We need to take care of as many (health issues) in primary care as we can,” he said.
Guthrie expects potential patients to be those who do not yet have a primary-care doctor or can’t get in to see their regular doctor right away. The doctor at the clinic could become the ongoing primary-care physician for the patient, he said.
The clinic will not handle emergency care.
Guthrie said having doctors working for a health system, as opposed to owning their own business, is a “new model” for primary care. It allows doctors to avoid the expense of record -keeping and billing, which is likely to increase under the Affordable Care Act, he said.
“Hospitals are increasingly getting more involved in helping doctors be able to practice medicine,” he said. “Many doctors just want to see patients and help people.”
Many doctors are also retiring, he added, because of the demand to invest in technology.
“We need to figure out the most efficient way to provide care,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers yet. We have to be flexible to the community’s needs.”
The new office will be the first walk-in clinic opened by Halifax Health, but not the last. A similar clinic is also planned to open in 2014, in Deltona, Zdanis said.
Clinic patients who are not covered by insurance will be able to pay cash, she added. Indigent care will still be handled at the main Halifax Health facility, in Daytona Beach.
Lindsay Rew, media manager for Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler, said the health system does not have a walk-in clinic in Volusia County, but it does have one in Flagler, in addition to employing both primary-care and specialty doctors throughout its network.
Ormond Beach Economic Director Joe Mannarino said the clinic will be a “great service for residents,” in addition to putting currently empty office space to use.