A growing West Shore urgent care group plans to affiliate with PinnacleHealth.
AllBetterCare Urgent Care Centers, which was founded in Silver Spring Township in 2010, operates three sites in the midstate.
Its affiliation with Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth is expected to be completed this fall, officials announced in a joint statement released Thursday.
Terms of the anticipated deal were not disclosed, but staffing, medical providers and management oversight at the centers will remain unchanged, the release indicated.
AllBetterCare’s workforce includes 12 physicians, seven physician assistants and other staff. The practice provides medical treatment of unexpected illness and injuries seven days a week, as well as providing occupational medicine services to area employers.
“As health care evolves and consolidates in central Pennsylvania, being the urgent care arm of the largest growing and evolving healthcare system in the region is an exciting opportunity for AllBetterCare,” said the company’s CEO, Gregory Smolin.
Its locations are on the Carlisle Pike in Silver Spring Township, on Walnut Bottom Road in South Middleton Township, both in Cumberland County, and on Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County.
When the South Middleton Township office opened in September 2013, the group had cared for more than 20,000 patients, the Business Journal reported.
Nearly four years later, the company says it has seen almost 100,000 new patients since its founding.
“PinnacleHealth places tremendous value on the wonderful work done by the doctors and staff at ABC in fostering better health and appropriate care in the right setting. We share their vision to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and decrease emergency room wait times,” said PinnacleHealth President and CEO Philip Guarneschelli.
“By working together, we can provide even more coordinated and cost-effective care across all settings that is easy to access and convenient for our community,” he added.
The rise in urgent care operations nationwide has been driven by a number of factors, in addition to pressure on reducing costly ER visits with their long wait times.
As a 2015 Business Journal story pointed out, physicians have found it less expensive to perform some outpatient procedures in urgent care settings than in hospitals, while patients find the centers — often located in plazas or retail-type settings — more convenient, personal and less intimidating than traditional hospitals.
The affiliation comes at a time when PinnacleHealth is in growth mode.
Earlier this month, Pinnacle acquired four midstate hospitals from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc., including Carlisle Regional Medical Center in Cumberland County, not far from AllBetterCare’s two West Shore locations.
PinnacleHealth also has committed to moving forward with construction of a new campus in York County to replace the existing Memorial Hospital, one of the four just acquired.
PinnacleHealth also is working on an affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, plans for which were announced in March.
PinnacleHealth oversees a network of more than 1,400 physicians and allied health professionals and about 8,000 employees, who serve a 10-county area through outpatient facilities and seven acute care hospitals with 905 licensed beds.