Murray Medical Center and Georgia Mountains Health, a federally qualified health care clinic in Chatsworth, are joining forces to open PrimeCare inside the hospital’s emergency department.

The new clinic is centered on providing an appropriate level of care for people previously having to use the emergency department for non-emergency conditions, as well as educating the public on appropriate ways to receive medical care. The clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“We are looking forward to the opening of PrimeCare inside Murray Medical Center, and feel it will be a great asset for the community as well as our hospital,” said Jim Hazel, administrator of Murray Medical Center. “By providing the public with treatment in the proper medical setting, and information about proper levels of care, we feel that the opening of PrimeCare will not only make our hospital stronger, but will in turn make our community healthier as well as help people save on medical bills.”

In coordination with the clinic’s opening, the hospital will enact a new Emergency Services Policy. Beginning July 1, all patients seeking emergency services will receive a medical screening exam by a physician or nurse practitioner to determine if the patient’s condition is emergency or non-emergency.

If a patient is diagnosed with an emergency condition, he/she will be treated regardless of his/her ability to pay. If a patient is diagnosed with a non-emergency condition certain conditions apply. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., patients with non-emergency conditions will be referred to the PrimeCare clinic for treatment. Fees for service will be based upon the patient’s ability to pay. However, a minimum payment of $40 will be expected at the time of service.

From 7 p.m. to 11 a.m., patients screened by the emergency department physician as non-emergency will be given the following choices:

Option 1 — The patient may choose to continue treatment in the emergency department; however, treatment will require a $100 deposit. If you are a non-emergency patient with insurance, the hospital is obligated to collect your deductible and co-insurance payment at the time of service. Coverage for non-emergency conditions will vary according to the terms of your insurance plan.

If you are a non-emergency patient without insurance, you will be responsible to pay Murray Medical Center for any treatment you receive at the time of service. The minimum required deposit is $100.

Option 2 — Return to the PrimeCare clinic at 11 a.m.

Option 3 — Be referred to an area physician or clinic

“We believe that with the opening of PrimeCare, we will be able to better serve both our emergency patients as well as those people that need non-emergent medical assistance, but in a more appropriate and affordable level of care,” Hazel said. “Our decision to partner in the opening of PrimeCare inside the hospital came from a realization that the citizens of Murray County and Northwest Georgia needed a place to receive proper non-emergent medical care while receiving education on all of the resources available to them through our local clinics as well as our growing panel of primary care physicians, with the objective of helping citizens understand the value of having a medical home.”

Murray Medical Center is at 707 Old Dalton Ellijay Road and is part of Hamilton Health Care System. For questions about the hospital’s new emergency services policy or PrimeCare, contact Danny Wright, director of hospital services, at (706) 517-2033.

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