Eat some chicken wings, buy the latest video game and have a strep test done.
And do it all on Sunday afternoon.
Convenience and medical treatment are increasingly being linked together as hospitals around the country open retail centers to provide minor medical treatment for things like an ear infection, strep throat or pink eye.
Mayo Clinic’s first such walk-in clinic – Mayo Express Care – will open its doors on Jan. 28 in Rochester’s Northwest Plaza shopping center by GameStop and near Buffalo Wild Wings.
“This is particularly for types of condition that would not send you to the emergency room, but you don’t want to wait to be treated,” says Mayo Clinic Spokesman Adam Brase.
Express Care will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends.
“It is all about convenience,” said Brase. “We think there is a real opportunity to meet the needs of patients, particularly on Sunday.”
It will be staffed solely by nurse practitioners. A price list on the wall, similar to ones in oil change shops, shows most treatments or tests cost $49.
For Mayo Clinic employees, such care is covered by insurance. That means an employee who parks and catches the Mayo Clinic shuttle from the shopping center parking lot will be able to stroll in after work to have bronchitis treated without paying a fee out of pocket.
Mayo Clinic is not the first hospital even in Rochester to offer this type of walk-in clinic.
Olmsted Medical Center has two FastCare Clinics in operation in Rochester’s two ShopKo stores. The Jay Clinic, an independent center, opened first in Rochester as a stand-alone office on 19th Street Northwest.
Nationwide, hospitals and private companies are rapidly opening similar clinics. As of this month, more than 800 such clinics are treating patients across the country, according to data from the industry group called the Convenient Care Association.
The nonprofit group states the trend started only in 2000, when QuickMedx began opening clinics in the Twin Cities.
While this Mayo Clinic’s first Express Care Clinic, it will probably not be the last. Another one is being planned for south Rochester.
How many are the clinic planning on opening in the region?
“We are just starting with this one. Maybe there will be others in the future,” said Brase. We’ll get this one open and then go from there.