Mark Boomer came to the realization that there must be a better approach to respiratory care after handling 27 calls in a 24-hour period.
The best he could do for most of those callers was tell them to head to an emergency room or wait weeks or months for an appointment with a specialist.
That didn’t sit well with Boomer, a pulmonologist at Pulmonary Medicine Associates, so he decided to create a new model.
The result is RespirCare, 2832 W. 101st St. The walk-in clinic is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
“The whole idea of getting care the same day that you are sick is really better,” he said. “We want to lower the threshold so they will come in sooner because we believe when they come in sooner, and we treat them, we can prevent a lot of problems down the road.”
RespirCare treats acute and chronic breathing problems including a COPD, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, pulmonary and cystic fibrosis.
Care is provided by pulmonologists, nurses and registered respiratory therapists. They perform assessments, supply oxygen, breathing treatments, ultrasound-guided thoracentesis, spirometry, X-rays, and blood work.
“We believe this will be significantly more cost-effective for people,” Boomer said, adding that his clinic receives reimbursements at about 15 percent of what emergency rooms get for the same type of treatment.
The clinic is also using a new phone app for COPD patients to use at home that complements their care and sets a baseline that allows doctors to monitor their daily tests and be able to notice any changes.
“We really believe this will provide significantly better care,” he said. “We can reach people who otherwise would have to drive 50 miles to come to a doctor.”
Boomer said the walk-in model is something he believes will be replicated throughout the country because it allows patients to seek treatment when they start having problems instead of scheduling an appointment for later.
“Honestly, I do not think we deliver health care very well in this country and we feel this is a better way,” Boomer said. “This is going to be more efficient and fill a need because you can’t get into primary care or to see a pulmonologist or even an ER without waiting several hours.”
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