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Teller County's lone urgent care becomes primary care

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 20:22:24-04

WOODLAND PARK, Colorado — A banner at the former Penrose Mountain Urgent Care announces the change; this clinic will now be a primary care facility. A specialty sports and spine medicine clinic and a cardiovascular care clinic which share the building near the intersection of US 24 and CO 67 will also continue to serve the community.

"I heard about it, yes, and I'm sad," said resident Pam Demma.

She's needed the visit the urgent care before and hates to see it go.

"Because I'm getting up there in age and I need medical care quite often and its nice to have choices or options on where to go."

Consumer advocates say the departure of Teller County's only urgent care facility will leave patients with fewer options.

"It makes it much harder for consumers to access lower cost care especially outside of the working hours of their primary care provider if they have one," said Adam Fox with Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

If someone has a minor medical need outside of business hours, or if they don't have a primary care physician, the remaining options are a pricey trip to the emergency room or a 30 minute drive to Colorado Springs.

Demma is concerned about winter driving on Ute Pass to see a doctor.

"I have gone as far as Breckenridge to see a doctor," she added.

Andrea Sinclair, a spokesperson for Penrose St. Francis Health Services, explained that the closure of the urgent care clinic is part of an overarching strategy to care for patients and communities.

"Centura Health and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services are fully committed to meeting the care needs of every community we serve and residents in Teller County can experience the convenience and expertise of excellent primary care, cardiovascular care and sports medicine and spine care at one convenient location, where same-day appointments are possible when provider's schedules permit," Sinclair said.

Fox with CCHI encouraged residents in Teller County to establish good relationship with a primary care doctor because it can mean a easier time getting in to be seen.