Odd hours norm at Lacey clinic

Open weekends and evenings, Sunday Clinic caters to uninsured, underinsured

rboone@theolympian.comFebruary 18, 2013 

Unable to see her regular doctor, and not willing to wait a long time to be seen at a walk-in clinic or emergency room, Alicia Clark of Centralia traveled to Lacey on Sunday to try something different.

The new clinic, called Sunday Clinic, was opened last month by Dr. Brandon Elrod and his wife, Amanda, at The Marston Center in Lacey, 677 Woodland Square Loop SE. It was created to provide more convenient hours for patients — it’s open Saturdays and Sundays and evenings by appointment during the week — as well as cater to uninsured patients.

The Sunday Clinic is not free. It charges from $60-$100 for those who don’t have insurance, although that fee is negotiable if the patient can’t afford it, Elrod said. He had a recent patient who could afford to pay just $40 for the visit, and the clinic accepts payment plans for as little as $10 per month, he said.

In addition to convenient hours, the clinic hopes to provide patients with a more affordable alternative than a walk-in clinic — sometimes called urgent care — or an emergency room for their medical needs, Elrod said.

“People don’t go when they first feel sick,” he said, adding that waiting usually results in a more expensive trip to urgent care or the emergency room.

Elrod said he hopes to change that with Sunday Clinic.

Elrod, 30, is an osteopathic physician. He received his medical degree from Touro University in Vallejo, Calif. He later joined the Army, did his internship at Madigan Army Medical Center, and now practices family medicine during the week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Elrod said he can offer a more affordable alternative to his patients because he has kept his costs low. He has a small office, including two exam rooms and a small lobby, plus his wife, Amanda, 33, does the books, scheduling and billing.

“We saw a need for it,” she said about creating the clinic.

A medical assistant, Nicole Palmeira, checks in patients and records vital signs, too, such as blood pressure and temperature.

Another feature of the business is the Sunday Clinic Primary Care Group. For a monthly fee, ranging from $29-$39, the patient can visit the clinic up to six times per year. They currently have three patients in the primary care group, but want to grow that number to 127.

The clinic also accepts Premera insurance and Medicaid, plus they have pending arrangements with Regence, Group Health and Medicare, Elrod said.

If a patient has insurance that the clinic doesn’t accept, they can provide forms so that the patient can get reimbursed, he said.

Clark, 29, of Centralia, who visited the clinic Sunday about an allergic reaction, said she was grateful the clinic was open and that she didn’t have to wait or pay the cost of an emergency room visit. She also plans to recommend the clinic to her husband, who doesn’t have health insurance, she said.

Sunday Clinic is open 5-9 p.m. weekdays by appointment, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog

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