BOSTON – Councilor Flynn has filed a hearing order to discuss the impact of for-profit urgent care centers on nonprofit Community Health Centers. The City of Boston has seen an increase in the number of urgent care centers, where these clinics offer walk-in services for patients with non-emergency medical issues, such as common cold, small injuries, or minor infections.
While for-profit urgent care centers offer convenient and quick care to patients, they are not legally obligated to treat patients who do not have the ability to pay, unlike the emergency department. When urgent care centers are in close proximity to community health centers, they have the potential to take away the health centers’ patient base and put the financial viability of these invaluable neighborhood institutions at risk.
In South Boston, there is currently a proposal for a for-profit urgent care center on West Broadway, a block away from the South Boston Community Health Center (SBCHC). This has posed concerns for the financial stability and operations of the Health Center, which has provided critical and professional healthcare services to the neighborhood for 50 years, servicing 70,000 visits annually that include families, seniors, persons with disabilities, immigrants, communities of color, and our most vulnerable in public housing.
“I am calling for this hearing as our neighborhood community health centers have been long-time partners with a track record of delivering world-class healthcare to families and residents all across the City of Boston- including our seniors, persons with disabilities, immigrants, communities of color and neighbors in public housing,” said Councilor Flynn. “With other recent news on Steward Healthcare and concerns about healthcare access and quality for all, it is also critical that the City of Boston discuss for-profit urgent care centers and how they can potentially impact services, programs, and staff at nearby Community Health Centers.
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and [email protected].