In September, we told you about an urgent care center in North Carolina that had committed to serving the immediate needs of patients with psychiatric and behavioral health concerns—but was struggling to attract enough patients. The staff was seeing fewer than 17 patients a week then; today, it’s closer to 50, halfway to their goal of serving 100 each week. Carolina Outreach just conducted an open house to celebrate its 6-month anniversary and to continue to educate the public about the services it offers. The center contracted with Alliance Behavioral Healthcare to provide urgent psychiatric care to Medicaid patients, but is working to contract with larger insurers in order to help more patients get the treatment they need as quickly and simply as possible. They’ve already achieved one distinction that has helped full-service urgent care centers curry favor with insurers by helping to ease congestion in local emergency rooms; 60% of patients who visit Carolina Outreach say they “absolutely” would have gone to the ED if the specialty center wasn’t an option, with others saying they “likely” would have done so.
NC Psychiatric Urgent Care Clinic Is Finding Its Footing