Crain's New York Business
May 25, 2016
Northwell, GoHealth Open Urgent-Care Center in Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village residents suffering from a bad head cold and New York University students seeking a quick fix for a hangover have a new place to turn for help.
GoHealth Urgent Care opened a new location on East 8th Street last week, the company's latest foray into the New York City market as it works toward doubling the number of its clinics in the region. In New York, the company operates through a joint venture with Northwell Health, the state's largest health system.
The partners have opened 23 urgent-care centers in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester since announcing they would work together in late 2014. Greenwich Village is the company's third Manhattan office. Its fourth opened Monday near West 100th Street on the Upper West Side.
That type of growth is the norm in urgent care doesn't consider smaller companies that only have one or two clinics. CityMD, the largest urgent-care provider in New York City, now has more than 50 locations in the metro area.
GoHealth's alliance with Northwell separates it from the pack, said Todd Latz, GoHealth's chief executive. If a patient is already seeing a Northwell primary-care doctor, the urgent-care center can transfer information about his/her visit seamlessly, he said. GoHealth also offers imaging services such as on-site X-rays, which are then interpreted by Northwell radiologists.
"That's where the Northwell pieces comes in," he said. "It gives us an advantage in terms of what we can do from a clinical perspective."
The clinic is sure to attract its fair share of NYU students with its location near the university's main campus. That is an attractive patient base for a health care provider because many of those students are likely to have insurance. A 2008 study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found about 80% of college students ages 18 to 23 had health insurance in 2006.
"This location was driven by being in close proximity [to NYU]," Latz said.
Inside the facility, patients don't feel like they are in a traditional doctor's office. The typical barrier between patients and staff members, which Latz called "the power gradient," is missing, and staff members sit near the front of the office, not in a cordoned off area.
Though the clinic is only about 2,000 square feet, patient rooms feel larger than usual. That's because of a careful eye to design, Latz says. For instance, all four exam rooms have sliding doors, rather than swinging ones, to preserve space.
All the exam rooms are shielded by frosted glass. When patients enter the room, the walls become opaque, but when the rooms are empty, they're transparent, allowing passersby to see the inner workings of the clinic as they stroll down East 8th Street.
GoHealth has pursued the joint-venture model in other parts of the country. In the Portland, Ore., area, it partnered with the six-hospital Legacy Health system and has 14 locations. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where it has partnered with 39-hospital Dignity Health, it will begin opening clinics later this year.