Making urgent care affordable
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Teri Folkens, a registered nurse,
manages two medical centers for her husband, Dr. Eric Folkens.
In case you haven’t noticed, the increased cost of quality medical care has been in the news quite a bit lately. With insurance premiums increasing and incomes decreasing, affording basic medical care is becoming more of a challenge to families every day, something that has not gone unnoticed by at least one doctor in Bradenton.
Dr. Eric Folkens established Bradenton Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Center on Manatee Avenue in October 2008, a year after opening the Lakewood Ranch Urgent Care Center on State Road 64 East. Folkens’ mission is to provide available and affordable health care to everyone from infants to seniors, especially during these very unpredictable and expensive times.
A native of Illinois, Folkens, his wife, Teri, Folkens and their two girls, age four and seven, relocated to Bradenton four years ago after he completed his residency in family medicine in Texas. Teri is a registered nurse and actively manages both medical centers.
In addition to the Folkens, Bradenton Urgent Care also has on staff Dr. Jan Gagel who was formerly a registered nurse before obtaining her degree in family medicine. Several physician’s assistants, an LPN medical assistant, a radiology technician and office staff complete the busy team at Bradenton Urgent Care.
The offices are large and bright with four exam rooms, an on-site pharmacy where most prescriptions can be filled for patients for $10, X-ray and EKG equipment. Lab work is available for everything from basic check-ups to flu, strep and more complicated evaluations. Broken bones, flu shots, lacerations, vaccinations or school and work physicals are all available at Bradenton Urgent Care.
In addition, medical records are maintained electronically making it more efficient to provide local and visiting patients with copies. Most private insurance is accepted as well as Medicare, and although Bradenton Urgent Care is a walk-in medical center, same day appointments can be arranged.
Folkens prides himself and his business on not only a quick turn around for critical care patients, but also being the least expensive self-pay clinic in Bradenton. An office visit at Bradenton Urgent is $90, as opposed to a typical office visit in the area of $182, and X-rays start at $40, a savings that could be in the hundreds of dollars. The fees for lab work at Bradenton Urgent are one third less than anywhere else, and patients can combine rates for services affording additional savings.
About 25 percent of Bradenton Urgent Care’s patients use the medical center as their primary medical care provider. Many others who do not currently have private insurance coverage or are subject to high deductibles come to Bradenton Urgent to take advantage of its affordable fees and extensive menu of services. Folkens says his clinics are “an option to save money for people who have no insurance or who are insured with high deductibles.”
The future of medical care in the United States may be a work in progress, but at Bradenton Urgent Care they’re making progress every day. Why pay more? Why wait longer? You won’t do either at Bradenton Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Center.