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January 2018

Doctors Care, P.A. and Palmetto Health announce collaboration to increase health care access

By Press

January 26, 2018

Media Contacts:

Jill Armbruster
[email protected]

Tammie Epps
[email protected]

Doctors Care, P.A. and Palmetto Health announce collaboration to increase health care access

Columbia, S.C. – Doctors Care, P.A. (Doctors Care) and Palmetto Health, both headquartered in Columbia, have agreed to collaborate to provide patients with greater, seamless access to urgent care, including after hours and on weekends, throughout the Midlands.

The agreement builds on an existing strong relationship between the two health care organizations, and represents a sustained commitment to offer the best value, most comprehensive and appropriate care for Midlands residents. The new relationship will extend to 14 existing Doctors Care locations in the Midlands region, and will complement the extensive footprint of Palmetto Health.

“Our shared goal is to provide patients with the best option for their health care needs, whether that’s one of our urgent care centers, a medical home or a specialist at Palmetto Health,” said Curtis Franke, M.D., acting president and chief medical officer of Doctors Care.

The relationship between Palmetto Health and Doctors Care started in 2015 when Doctors Care became a member of the Palmetto Health Quality Collaborative (PHQC), the Palmetto Health clinically integrated network.

John Singerling, Palmetto Health President, added, “In our ongoing quest to improve the patient experience, we are excited to announce our expanded relationship with Doctors Care. We want to provide our patients with increased access to high-quality, affordable urgent care – when and where they need it. We believe this relationship helps us meet those needs. Our collaboration is complementary to and aligned with the excellent providers in Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group and the Palmetto Health Quality Collaborative.”

The first phase of the collaboration will include the integration of electronic medical record systems and co-branding of the Midland region Doctors Care locations. The medical record integration will allow timely communication between the two organizations to help ensure a full continuum of care for patients. Doctors Care will assume operations of the Palmetto Health Urgent Care Center on the Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge campus. While the new arrangement involves medical records integration and co-branding, in Doctors Care offices, both entities remain as independent organizations.

Franke added, “Our urgent care centers offer patients the utmost convenience since we don’t require appointments and we’re open nights and weekends. We also recognize that Palmetto Health provides a level of specialized care that many of our urgent care patients need. This collaboration delivers the best of both worlds.”

The primary focus of the collaboration will be to help patients make wise decisions when choosing the most appropriate setting to seek medical care. An urgent care center provides a fast and affordable treatment option for patients who require non-life threatening care for illnesses like colds, flu or minor injuries. This network of access for walk-in service will help Palmetto Health decrease unnecessary visits to its emergency rooms, and provide patients an easier transition to specialty services. Both organizations will launch internal education campaigns and external communications to assist staff and patients when making decisions about where to seek treatment. The collaboration will begin immediately, and consumers can expect to see co-branded signage and materials in Doctors Care offices this spring.

For more information about Doctors Care locations, visit their website at

About Doctors Care, P.A.

Doctors Care urgent care is a leading health care organization focused on delivering exceptional and convenient urgent care, family care and occupational health services. Its original center, opened in Columbia in 1981, was the first urgent care center in South Carolina. Now, Doctors Care is one of the largest urgent care companies in the United States, with nearly 1,000 employees. Its network of 53 urgent care locations continues to expand to serve patients with quality medical care that is both convenient and affordable. All Doctors Care centers offer online check-in, flexible hours, onsite X-ray and laboratory, telehealth services and more. Visit to learn more.

About Palmetto Health

Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the South Carolina Midlands region and one of the state’s largest employers, comprises more than 14,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s Vision: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The 1,439-bed system includes six acute-care hospitals in the Midlands – Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey. In the South Carolina Upstate region, Palmetto Health also co-owns Baptist Easley Hospital with Greenville Health System. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, the system also includes the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, the region’s largest multispecialty group, which serves as the entry point to the health care system with more than 500 providers serving patients in nearly 100 practices and more than 100 locations. Palmetto Health also is supported by two 501 (c)(3) foundations, and trains the next generation of physicians through its 26 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit or call 803-296-CARE (2273).