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NYC Urgent Care Clinics Add mHealth to Help With Care Coordination

CityMD is using mHealth messaging technology from mPulse Mobile to connect with patients after they've visited an NYC urgent care clinic and manage everything from referrals to patient satisfaction surveys.

Source: ThinkStock

By Eric Wicklund

- A network of urgent care clinics in New York City has added an mHealth messaging platform to give patients access to post-discharge care coordination services.

Manhattan-based CityMD, which boasts more than 85 locations in the New York City metro area and Seattle, is partnering with mPulse Mobile to launch an automated text messaging service. The new service will give recent patients information on lab results, follow-up care, pre-approvals, referrals and patient satisfaction surveys.

“Providing an exceptional experience includes engaging our patients in a way that is convenient and easy for them,” Ramu Kannan, CityMD’s Chief Information Officer, said in a press release.  

Kannan said CityMD has seen a 60 percent response rate in the eight months that they’ve used the mPulse Mobile platform. Previously, in contacting patients by phone, they’d only seen a 10 percent response rate.

“We are able to more effectively and efficiently engage our patients and deliver on our service commitment,” he said.

Launched in 2010 by Dr. Richard Park, the company merged with Premier Care in 2013, partnered with Hackensack University Medical Center in 2015 and has recently announced plans to acquire STAT Health and First Med Immediate Medical Care, two other New York-based urgent care chains.

Last April, private equity firm Warburg-Pincus purchased a majority stake in the company, a deal valued at roughly $600 million.

There are close to 200 urgent care clinics in the New York City area, with CityMD and GoHealth, a joint venture with Northwell Health, the top competitors. Such clinics are growing in popularity across the nation as a less costly and time-consuming alternative to overcrowded and expensive emergency rooms and visits to the doctor’s office.

In a 2015 interview with Crain’s New York Business, Park pointed out that CityMD has long had a telemedicine component.

“Aftercare is software that we built on top of our electronic medical record; it's paired with 120 people at our call center in Uniondale, L.I.,” he said. “We will do 2.2 million clinical phone calls this year. We do more telemedicine than telemedicine companies.”

“Our job in this ‘population health’ world is to flag things and refer them - Identify and notify,” he added. “We flag three things: hypertension, prediabetes and depression, when (patients) could come in for an ankle sprain or something utterly different.”

By adding mPulse Mobile’s technology, the company is expanding its platform with mobile health tools designed to improve care coordination and management.

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