Augusta Health’s office in Old Trail Village in Crozet is now operating as one of the hospital corporation’s three area “convenient care clinics.” The similar offices are in Waynesboro and Staunton.
The convenient care clinics do not take appointments, but see patients on a first-come, first served basis. They do not have X-ray or lab facilities.
“The idea is to offer episodic acute care with weekend hours,” said Dr. Scott Just, an emergency medicine doctor who is the president of the emergency physician group that Augusta Health contracts with to staff its emergency department at the hospital in Fishersville, its convenient care centers and its urgent care centers in Weyers Cave and Staunton. The last two do have full-time doctors, X-ray and lab facilities.
The Crozet clinic is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Typical patients at the Crozet office need attention for allergies, animal and insect bites, coughs and colds, sore throats and ear infections, fevers and flus, immunizations, routine exams and sports physicals for kids, skin infections and urinary tract infections. Most visits take 10 to 12 minutes, Dr. Just said.
“We are for minor emergencies. We’re capable of caring for adults and children, except those under age two,” said Dr. Just, who earned his medical credentials at U.Va. and once worked under Gazette medical columnist Dr. Robert Reiser. Just lives in Greenwood now and is working on an MBA at U.Va.
“We’ll have physician coverage here four hours a week and a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant. Augusta [Health]’s commitment to Crozet seems to be there from what I see,” said Dr. Just. “This model works in other places and growth is picking up in Crozet. Everybody needs walk-in care. You can come in here with anything. We want sick people.
“If a patient needs to go to a hospital, we will send whichever hospital the patient chooses information in advance so they are ready when the patient arrives,” he said.
Dr. Just said that flu cases are showing up and the clinic recently gave flu shots to residents at The Lodge.
“It’s started early this year,” he said, “Typically the peak is in February. You usually don’t see flu in October. I definitely recommend getting a flu shot earlier.”
Insurance plans normally cover the flu shot. Augusta charges the uninsured $20 cash for the flu shot, cheaper than getting it at CVS, according to Linda McAllister, a business manager for Augusta Health’s convenient care clinics. She noted that the clinic charges the uninsured just $49 for an office visit.
“We see a lot of people who do not have insurance,” she said. “We want to be convenient for working families. We’re very conscious of the cost of medicines.”
McAllister said the clinic is working on offering other more specialized services, but those are not yet ready for publication.
“Crozet has more office space than the other clinics,” explained Dr. Just. “We’re in position to be flexible and we want to respond to what the community needs. If they need us to have earlier hours, we’ll do that. We’re open to whatever. We want to stay in this community.”
By policy, the clinic’s professional staff rotates regularly among the other clinics and is in the main Augusta Health Emergency Department for a shift once a week so that they are current and familiar with health issues in the region, Dr. Just said.