Patients visiting Lanier Urgent Care in Gainesville, GA are asked the usual questions upon arrival—plus one that’s very atypical: You wanna see the dogs? According to the centers practice administrator, 90% of patients answer “Yes!” to that question. Lanier has a pair of canines on site every day, though one of them will likely be departing to spend time in Lanier’s soon-to-open second location. Dr. Ronald Perry, president of Lanier, says the dogs have a way of easing most patients’ nerves about having to go to the doctor in the first place, as well as serving as ice breakers (“Everybody has a story about a dog,” he told the Gainesville Times). They’re obviously not hurting business; the clinic saw 32,000 patients last year, including one day where 152 people received care on site.
Most patients would not make a point of choosing one provider over another on the basis of the dogs alone, of course. Perry says a good deal of the credit for the center’s success goes to the good care patients receive, plus a flat-fee billing structure. Patients pay roughly $125, depending on their health insurance, and don’t face additional costs for x-rays or lab work. That makes life easier for his office staff, as well, as they don’t have to chase down “the last nickel and dime” for any additional services the patient needed.