One of the biggest health additions to the community of Gonzales County happened recently with the opening of the Urgent Care clinic located at 1103 Sarah Dewitt Highway.
Operated by Dr. Garth Vaz and staff, the Urgent Care facility opened in November with the primary purpose of urging patients to use Urgent Care instead of going to an emergency room where the cost of care would be much higher. In addition, the Urgent Care facility is open to serve people who are feeling sick as soon as possible instead of having to wait for an appointment to see a physician.
“There is a need for businesses in town to encourage their workers to reduce the cost of premiums,” Dr. Vaz said in an interview last week. “Urgent Care is a lot less expensive to use, and therefore reduces employees’ out-of-pocket costs and helps keeps employers’ premiums at a much lower rate.”
In addition to the obvious cost savings, Dr. Vaz pointed out that an Urgent Care Clinic in Gonzales provides better quality health care to patients when they are actually sick.
“With Urgent Care, a person doesn’t have to change their PMP and they don’t have to wait to be seen,” said Dr. Vaz. “Our goal is to see patients the day they are sick.
“Many local folks do not really know what an Urgent Care facility is,” Dr. Vaz continued. “People from out-of-town are coming in here because they are more familiar with it. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Once we get this cranked up and explain to area residents what it is we do and how an Urgent Care facility works, I think the entire community will see the benefit of having an Urgent Care right here in Gonzales.”
According to staff at the Urgent Care facility, many of the patients who come through the doors express their gratitude at the facility for having opened.
“We are glad you are here,” is the most common expression heard at the Urgent Care. “We are so grateful for having the option to come here and be treated when we actually need treatment.” Prior to the opening of the local Urgent Care, the closest clinics were in either Bastrop or Seguin.
According to Dr. Vaz, the Urgent Care will treat minor injuries, most illnesses like ear aches, viruses and other maladies along with handling minor emergencies.
Accounting to Dr. Vaz, he saw the need for an Urgent Care facility years ago.
“Under the Affordable Care Act, it was clear we could do this if we met all the requirements,” Dr. Vaz said. “We set up an Accountable Care Organization and met the three major requirements to get this facility opened. One of those three tenets is meeting 33 quality measure set by the ACA, and after we were reviewed, we were given a score in the 99th percentile which we are all proud of here.”
Dr. Vaz stresses that the Urgent Care was not set up to compete with the hospital across the street, but rather to provide less expensive options and quicker health care delivery.
If someone has a need to use the Urgent Care clinic, the phone number is 830-672-2424.