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UF Health soon to open combined ER and urgent care centers

UF Health Jacksonville celebrated construction Wednesday of a new emergency care concept for Jacksonville — facilities that combine an emergency room with an urgent care center.

The event introduced a new center on New Kings Road, where UF Health Jacksonville will see the first patient in October. Other centers are planned on Lane Avenue, opening in November, and off Baymeadows Road, which will open in December.

The centers will have a full-service emergency room open 24 hours a day and an urgent care center open in the same building seven days a week. Each facility will be equipped with lab equipment and a radiology suite with X-ray and multi-slice CT scanners.

An emergency room physician will examine each patient when they arrive and determine the appropriate level of care. Traditionally, many patients show up at the ER when they don't need that expensive care.

The project is being developed in partnership with Dallas-based Intuitive Health. Intuitive Health has similar hybrid facilities in Southeast and Northwest Florida, but the UF Health centers will be the first in the Jacksonville area, UF Health says.

“We are thrilled at the progress of these three centers that will change the delivery of health care in the community,” Russ Armistead, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville, said in a news release. “We believe this new hybrid concept will bring not only high-quality care, but will also keep costs down by offering two options of care under one roof.”

Patients will pay only for the level of care they receive, and estimates say more than 70% of patients can be treated at the urgent care level, UF Health says.

The facilities will accept most insurance plans, along with Medicare and Medicaid.