Treating urgent needs

Patient First celebrates grand opening of its new urgent care medical center in Fairless Hills

It’s official: Physicians and staff members recently celebrated the grand opening of the Patient First urgent care medical center in Fairless Hills. Samantha Bambino / Times Photo

From fevers and the flu, to sprains and fractures, Bucks County residents can receive instant treatment 365 days a year at the latest urgent care medical center to open its doors in the area.

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Patient First, which was founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1981, celebrated the grand opening of its 76th facility, located at 100 Lincoln Highway in Fairless Hills. The center is the 18th in Pennsylvania and the second in Bucks County, with the other situated at 75 E. Street Road, Feasterville.

Physicians and other Patient First staff members convened at the site for a commemorative ribbon cutting, led by CEO Pete Sowers, MD, who expressed his excitement over the completion of the new space.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “We’ve had an interest in this location for a number of years.”

According to Sowers, the Fairless Hills branch will offer the same services as the rest of the centers, which are sprinkled throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.

Patient First is exclusively for walk-ins, with no appointments necessary. Physicians and their support staff treat urgent, but non-life threatening injuries and illnesses, including sprains, possible fractures, lacerations requiring stitches, fevers, colds and flu, mild to moderate asthma attacks, eye irritation and nausea.

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year, including weekends and major holidays. Sowers stressed that unless there is a power outage due to extreme weather, Patient First will be fully operating.

When an individual walks in to Patient First, they’re asked to sign-in electronically on a computer by the front door. Patients have the option to see the next available doctor or, if there’s a physician they have a particular liking for, they can plan their visit accordingly since all schedules are posted online.

Once a patient is signed-in, they’ll transition to a registration room, where an office staff member will acquire basic information, such as their insurance. Patient First accepts all major plans including Aetna, AmeriHealth, Capital Blue Cross, Cigna Healthcare, First Health, Great-West Healthcare, Health America, Health Partners Plans, Highmark Blue Shield, Independence Blue Cross, Johns Hopkins EHP & USFHP, Keystone First, Medicare, Medishare Healthcare, MultiPlan/PHCS, POMCO Group, Tricare, United Healthcare and Vibra Health Plan. A full list is available online.

For those without insurance, simplified pricing is offered.

After this process is completed, patients can take advantage of on-site offerings: an X-ray department staffed by radiologic technologists; a government-certified lab staffed by lab professionals; prescriptions for many common urgent care conditions; nebulizer treatments for mild to moderate asthma attacks; intravenous (IV) hydration; and electrocardiogram (EKG).

Additional services include occupational health, such as treatment for workplace injuries covered by workers’ compensation; Department of Transportation physicals; drug screenings; and women’s health services.

To ensure continuity of care, Patient First routinely transmits a copy of the visit record to the patient’s primary care physician, according to the patient’s wishes. Primary care services are available at Patient First for those who do not have a primary care physician.

While waiting in an exam room, patients can utilize a phone charger and smart glass window, which they can open or close as they desire.

“We want them to have control of their engagement with the outside,” said Ian Slinkman, vice president of marketing & public relations for Patient First.

Slinkman also explained that there is rarely a wait time.

“We’ve been doing this since 1981, so we have a pretty good idea of when the busy times are,” he said, adding how Patient First will staff physicians accordingly. “Our goal is to make it as convenient as possible so we can get people in and out as reasonably quickly as possible, while making sure they’re getting the care they need.”

Within the next year, Patient First is slated to open another Bucks County location in Warrington.

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Samantha Bambino can be reached at