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Presbyterian opens second hybrid ER & urgent care

Darren Shafer, executive medical director, Presbyterian Medical Group, shows off Presbyterian’s new PresNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care on Albuquerque’s West Side to Albuquerque City Councilor Ken Sanchez. (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Buoyed by the success of the first facility in New Mexico that combines urgent and emergency care, Presbyterian Healthcare Services has opened a second center on Albuquerque’s West Side.

The health care provider opened a second PresNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW on Monday. The new facility is the second in New Mexico to offer both urgent care and emergency care to patients, a move that saves patients money and reduces wait times, according to Darren Shafer, executive medical director for Presbyterian.

“There’s a lot of benefit to the patients,” Shafer said.

Hybrid urgent and emergency care facilities are new this year to New Mexico but have seen success elsewhere in the country. Presbyterian opened its first PresNow location, at 6400 Paseo del Norte Blvd. NE., in June, making it the first facility of its kind in the state.

By offering both types of care, Shafer said Presbyterian can offer resources like CAT scans to patients who need them 24 hours a day, without billing patients who don’t need emergency care at emergency-care rates.

In part because of the unique model, Shafer said the first facility has seen significantly more demand than Presbyterian originally expected. He said the facility sees around 150 patients every day, roughly twice what he anticipated. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 55,000 patients, which is comparable to the volume at Presbyterian’s Kaseman Hospital.

Shafer added that nearly two-thirds of patients who have gone to the PresNow on Paseo del Norte have gone there for urgent care needs. Patients have come from as far as Belen and Santa Fe.

Shafer said the West Side facility is designed to be virtually identical to the Paseo del Norte location, and is expected to draw about as many visitors. The 12,500-square-foot facility has 14 patient rooms, with ultrasound and radiology facilities onsite. The facility took six months to build and cost around $4 million, according to Melanie Mozes, director of communications for Presbyterian. Around 100 employees work at the new facility.

Shafer added that there are more PresNow facilities on the way, with one in the South Valley planned for next August, and another in Uptown Albuquerque slated for 2021.

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