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Press Releases

De Blasio Administration Opens First NYC Health + Hospitals Urgent Care Clinics to Offer Faster Service, Ease Demand on Public Hospital Emergency Rooms

New ExpressCare clinics will offer convenient, quick access to medical care for non-life-threatening conditions and offer built-in connection to primary care physicians to ensure continuity of care for nearly 45,000 New Yorkers

Oct 25, 2018

At the ribbon cutting to open the ExpressCare Clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst are (from left) Dr. Phillip Fairweather, Assemblymember David Weprin, NYC Health + Hospitals Board Member Barbara Lowe, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst CEO Israel Rocha.
New York, NY

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio and NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz today marked the official opening of the public health system’s new ExpressCare clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst – one of three new urgent care centers that will provide faster access to medical care for patients who face non-life-threatening conditions. The urgent care clinics will be open for select hours year-round, 7 days a week and will ease overcrowding in three public hospital emergency rooms, as well as reduce health care costs by giving patients a faster and more appropriate alternative to expensive and often avoidable emergency room visits.

The NYC Health + Hospitals ExpressCare clinics are among the latest changes in the public health system’s vision to transform care for New Yorkers. These clinics represent a new business model for the public health system, with walk-in services for non-emergent conditions – like colds, flu, sprains, skin rashes, minor cuts and lacerations, and certain types of infections. Shifting patients with non-life-threatening conditions into ExpressCare clinics will shorten their wait times and will benefit as many as 45,000 New Yorkers every year. These clinics will also differ from stand-alone urgent care centers by offering a better connection to primary care providers. The emergency-trained physicians at ExpressCare clinics will help ensure patients receive the appropriate follow-up care by connecting them with primary care doctors in the Health + Hospitals network.

“Every New Yorker has the right to receive great medical treatment, without waiting hours to be seen by a doctor,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The opening of our ExpressCare clinics will help residents get faster treatment for less serious symptoms while connecting them with follow-up care in the long term.”

“Our communities are better served when our public hospital system can quickly and effectively address non-urgent health care needs in our ExpressCare clinics,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “Health + Hospital’s new urgent care model demonstrates the City’s ongoing commitment to transform and improve our public healthcare system.”

“Our goal is to provide patients with access to the right care, at the right place, and at the right time,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO. “The ExpressCare model will improve the patient experience with fast, convenient service as an alternative to the emergency room and build important connections with our primary care providers to strengthen long-term physician-patient relationships and prevent fragmented care.”

NYC Health + Hospitals is investing between $1.5 and $2 million to set up each of the three new ExpressCare clinics inside the hospital buildings and within a short distance from the emergency rooms. In addition to the ExpressCare clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, the City has NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, which opened in August, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, slated to open in March 2019.

The urgent care clinics will be open year-round, 7 days a week, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and holidays) at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. These are among the busiest times for each of the hospital’s emergency departments and are hours when patients are more likely to visit the emergency room because they cannot access a primary care provider.

NYC Health + Hospitals worked with OneCity Health, the State’s largest Performing Provider System, part of the Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, to create the clinical model for the ExpressCare clinics, which are designed to support the DSRIP goal to reduce avoidable hospital use by 25 percent by 2020.

“We opened our doors just a couple of weeks ago and have already served dozens of patients who have real health issues. Many have been able to see a doctor in under 30 minutes and, depending on the nature of the problem, have been in and out in less than one hour,” said Dr. Phillip Fairweather, Associate Director of Emergency Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “If these same patients had to wait in an emergency department, they could end up waiting several hours since more urgent cases, like heart attacks and trauma patients, get attention first, making the possibility of long waits for care unavoidable—until now. It feels great to improve our patients’ care experience.”

“We want to make it easier for people in our community to get access to care during evening hours, when they are often unable to see their primary care physicians,” said Israel Rocha, Vice President of NYC Health + Hospitals for OneCity Health and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “The urgent care centers will increase access to care, connect patients who don’t have a regular doctor to primary care, and help fill the gap between primary care and emergency services, while helping us achieve health care savings through a reduction in low acuity emergency department visits.”

“We have the busiest single-site emergency department in the region, and we fully expect that ExpressCare will help to reduce the wait time for many who come to us through the ED by providing immediate care for those with less emergent cases,” said Milton Nunez, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “When they are no longer competing with true emergencies for medical attention, our patients will benefit from the clinic setting.”

“We have a busy Level 1 Trauma Center that’s highly regarded for the quality care we provide in response to the most difficult, life-threatening cases that end up in our emergency room,” said Christopher Mastromano, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi. “With our new ExpressCare clinic, we’ll be able to redirect thousands of patients who have less severe conditions and offer them the same quick and high quality care they need.”

“As more and more families move into western Queens, the need for additional healthcare services in the area has grown exponentially. The new ExpressCare clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will offer Queens residents timely, quality care 7 days a week while reducing wait times in our often crowded hospital emergency rooms,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals for addressing the need for these services in Queens.”

“I am grateful that NYC Health + Hospitals opened its first ExpressCare clinic in Queens at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. These new clinics will reduce waiting times and healthcare costs while providing quality care to patients,” said Assembly Member David I. Weprin. “I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio, and NYC Health + Hospitals President & CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz for their continuous efforts to improve our public hospital system, one of our city’s greatest assets.”

“One of the biggest challenges we’ve examined in the Council’s Committee on Hospitals is how to move patients with non- life threatening conditions out of overburdened emergency rooms and into primary and urgent care facilities,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals. “The opening of these ExpressCare facilities at Elmhurst and other H+H hospitals will lower wait times, provide patients with better care, and help improve the system’s financial stability.”

“The ExpressCare Clinic at Elmhurst Hospital will provide patients with even faster access to expert medical care and I am so happy that my district is one of the first to offer this service,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.

“This ExpressCare clinic will take some of the burden off of western Queens, where the number of emergency rooms does not reflect the population boom,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides. “This Elmhurst facility will provide our residents with a late-afternoon and evening option to get medical treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. While we still need greater emergency room availability in this part of the borough, this is a big step in getting the people of western Queens quality medical help.”

“The uptick in urgent care centers citywide is promising, as it alleviates some of the congestion we see in city hospitals. I’m extremely pleased to see the NYC Health + Hospitals opening its first ExpressCare clinic, and hope for many more to come,” said Council Member Robert Holden.

“Emergency rooms should not be waiting rooms,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “The addition of the city’s first ExpressCare Clinic to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst—already home to one of the city’s busiest trauma centers—will allow the hospital to provide better, more responsive care. This is a tremendous service for our community and for Queens.”

ExpressCare clinics will accept most insurance plans; walk-ins are welcome and no appointments are needed. Patients without insurance will be offered financial counseling to help them apply for insurance or direct them to the health system’s reduced fee-scale payment program. Patients visiting ExpressCare clinics who are assessed as having serious medical conditions that cannot be properly addressed in that setting will be fast-tracked to the Emergency Department for treatment.

To learn more about ExpressCare clinics or to make an appointment with a primary care physician or other specialists at NYC Health + Hospitals, call 1-844-NYC-4NYC (1-844-692-4692).

NYC Health + Hospitals ExpressCare Locations

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
79-01 Broadway, Room A1-18
Queens, New York 11373
Hours: Daily 4:30 PM to 1 AM

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln
234 East 149th St, Suite 1C2A
Bronx, New York 10451
Hours: 8 AM to 8 PM Monday to Friday
10 AM to 4 PM weekends, holidays

NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
1400 Pelham Park South
Bronx, New York 10461
Scheduled to open March 2019

NYC Health + Hospitals ExpressCare Services:

  • Dental pain management
  • Diagnostic Imaging (including non-contrast Head CT)
  • EKG for Low Risk Patients
  • Evaluation and treatment of sprains and strains
  • Incision and drainage of simple Abscess
  • Mild Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Mild Low Back Pain
  • Minor Abrasions and Contusions
  • Minor Allergic Reactions
  • Minor Ear, Nose and Throat Complaints
  • Minor Genitourinary Symptoms
  • Minor laceration
  • Minor Skin infections and Rashes
  • Needle Sticks
  • Requesting Medication Refills
  • Screening for Sexually transmitted infections
  • Sexually transmitted infections in males
  • Suture removal
  • Upper Respiratory Complaints
  • Urinary Tract infections
  • Wound check