Providence and Exer partner to expand access to urgent and emergent care

January 21, 2016

Exer’s ER-trained physicians treat non-life-threatening illnesses and conditions to help ease crowding, limit wait time

Los Angeles, CA—Seeking to expand access to affordable emergency care while reducing hospital wait times, Providence Health & Services is partnering with Exer – More than Urgent Care, which operates clinics staffed by physicians trained in emergency medicine.

Under the terms of a new joint venture, Exer will operate clinics within the communities served by Providence Southern California, providing an alternative for patients whose conditions are urgent or serious but not life-threatening.

“Our partnership with Providence gives Exer the unique opportunity to join with the third largest not-for-profit health care system in the United States,” said Eve Kurtin, PharmD, Exer’s chairwoman of the board. “Exer’s mission to provide our patients with the highest quality health care in easy-to-access retail locations aligns with Providence’s commitment to improve the health of the greater community.”

The goal is to provide the appropriate level of care for every patient in the best setting, a move expected to ease the strain on Emergency Departments and allow Providence to offer greater access and more affordable care for patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

“This venture creates a perfect blend of the specialties provided by Exer and Providence. It will allow us to work together to serve more patients in the most appropriate and affordable ways and to reduce the time they wait,” said Karl Carrier, interim chief executive, Providence Southern California. “We’re very proud to partner with Exer to provide a top quality option for our patients.”

By partnering, Providence and Exer are positioned to enhance care in the communities they serve and to guide patients to comprehensive health care networks. The venture aligns with the Providence core strategy: Creating Healthier Communities, Together.

Exer has clinics in Northridge, Calabasas, Beverly Hills and Newbury Park in Ventura County where board-certified or board-eligible emergency medicine physicians provide a level of care beyond what is available at most urgent care centers. The clinics, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, offer pediatric services, on-site prescriptions, immunizations and physical exams for those in the workplace and in school sports. Exer also has on-site laboratories and diagnostics equipment. Patients in need of more complex screenings would be referred to Providence or directly admitted to a hospital.

A surge in emergency patients is due in part to the closures of about a dozen hospitals in Los Angeles County since 1998, including several in the Valley and the South Bay. And this year, the numbers are rising as more people have insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Providence and Exer plan to collaborate in establishing new clinics in communities served by Providence. The partners are laying the groundwork for expansion possibilities.

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About Providence Health & Services

Providence Health & Services, Southern California, is a Catholic not-for-profit, mission-driven health care system. Providence Southern California operates six award-winning hospitals and a comprehensive, fully-integrated network of primary care clinics, urgent care centers, home care, TrinityCare and TrinityKids Care hospice, as well as Providence High School. Providence is anchored locally by Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Providence Tarzana Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. With more than 3,400 physicians, Providence provides coordinated primary and specialty care through an array of physician groups and individual providers including Providence Medical Institute and physician groups in the South Bay, the West Valley and Santa Clarita. Providence affiliate Facey Medical Group provides primary and specialized care in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. For more information, visit California.providence.org.

About Exer, More than Urgent Care

Exer was founded by Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Deann Hampton and lead investor James Fay. Dr. Johnson, an Emergency Department physician who had practiced at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, opened the first Exer clinic in Calabasas on May 15, 2013, with the vision that patients receiving care in an ED could be served in a more convenient, high quality and affordable urgent care environment. Eve Kurtin, PharmD, chairwoman of the board, has overseen the growth of Exer with the opening of three additional clinics in Newbury Park, Northridge and Beverly Hills. Dr. Kurtin has more than 20 years’ experience as a health care operating executive, is the founding managing director of Pacific Ventures Group and is a senior advisor at Healthbox.