Sangeet Shah saw a need in the healthcare community and filled it with Midwest Express Clinic.
“Urgent care is really underutilized,” Shah said. “As (emergency rooms) and primary care doctors fill up, we’re really filling that role for patients who need care, need treatment today, on their own time, at their own convenience.”
Shah is a partner in the walk-in urgent care. Midwest Express has eight locations, including four in Northwest Indiana. The Region footprint includes clinics in Munster, Hammond, Schererville and Crown Point. It will expand soon with new locations planned in Merrillville -expected to open in the fall- and Dyer.
Shah said Midwest Express Clinics are typically found in safe and convenient areas like neighborhood strip malls and retail centers. All locations are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week including holidays. Patients can check in for an appointment at the kiosk when they arrive or virtually at midwestexpressclinic.com.
“The convenience factor of being able to walk in or schedule an appointment with an online check in, you can’t do that at the ER. You’re usually in and out of our office in under an hour,” Shah said. “Hospitals and ERs usually average anywhere from two to six hours.”
Walk-in urgent care clinics aren’t intended to treat all emergency room patients. But Midwest Express Clinics can treat almost any non-life-threatening issue, including coughs and colds, broken bones and other injuries, high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, STD and drug screening and other illnesses and injuries. Midwest can also handle women’s health, including pap smears, birth control and pregnancy testing.
Midwest Express Clinic is especially convenient for young adults who don’t have a primary care provider.
“We definitely put a focus on younger families,” said Kate Cunningham, Human Resources and Operations Manager. “We’re geared towards the growing family, very millennial base. People want that on-demand care. They don’t want to wait weeks and weeks for and they don’t want to spend $2,500 at the ER for basic medical issues. We really wanted to come up with an affordable, convenient care model.”
Because Midwest Express isn’t affiliated with a hospital or pharmacy, it can keep costs down as compared to other urgent care providers. Office visits start out at $100 out of pocket. Midwest Express is in-network with almost every major insurance plan, including Medicare and Medicaid.
Patients can also find coupons at midwestexpressclinic.com for discounts like B12 shots for only $10, flu shots for $15 and school and sports physicals for $25.
“On a basic level, we’re more affordable. We’re a fraction of the cost of the ER,” Shah said. “We don’t have any agenda to push any unnecessary testing or expensive diagnostic imaging and that typically saves patients a boatload of money. Our agenda is to save you money.”