Lehigh Valley Health Network said it is adding two new ExpressCARE locations in Carbon County – one in Palmerton and one in Lehighton.
Terrence Purcell, vice president of market development for the health network, said increasing access to care in Carbon County is an important goal for LVHN.
“Almost 30 percent of the population of Carbon County receives their health care from LVHN,” Purcell said. “There is a huge shortage of primary care physicians in Carbon County and there’s a huge need for services.”
Purcell said facilities like ExpressCARE help meet those needs and put services closer to the people who need them.
ExpressCARE at Lehighton will be located at 363 N. First St. ExpressCARE in Palmerton will be located in the Pencor Services Inc. building at 528 Delaware Ave.
They will be the 19th and 20th ExpressCARE locations operated by the network and are expected to be open this summer.
Richland Township in Bucks County and Palmer Township in Northampton County are among some of the ExpressCARE locations LVHN is already operating in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
ExpressCARE centers offer treatments for common illnesses and minor injuries without an appointment 365 days per year.
LVHN said the centers can treat patients for a variety of problems including sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations, poison ivy, rashes, seasonal allergies, flu symptoms, bronchitis, ear infections, sore throat and fevers.
Health insurance co-pays are billed at the rate of a physician visit versus an emergency room visit, so Purcell said such facilities also help patients with their costs.
While appointments are not needed, if a patient has a primary care physician in the Lehigh Valley Physician Group and their schedule is full, the physician’s group will register the patient and set up a time for the patient’s arrival so there is no waiting.
Purcell said more ExpressCARE centers are in the planning stages, but locations have not yet been announced.
In order to make room for the ExpressCARE in Lehighton, LVHN said it did have to move a number of other offices to 1001 Mahoning St. These services include LVPG Cardiology, LVPG Neurology, LVPG Pulmonology and LVPG Vascular Surgery, which join services already being provided by Health Network Labs at that location.
LVPG Hematology Oncology and LVPG Family Medicine−Lehighton, the practice of Dr. Kenneth Sharp will remain in the First Street building.