Medical center offers $69 doctor visits

Those without health insurance can get low-cost medical care through the end of the year at Eastbluff Medical Walk-In & Urgent Care, a company spokesman said this week.

The Newport Beach medical facility at 2507 Eastbluff Drive is offering $69 office visits beginning Wednesday, which coincides with Urgent Care Awareness Week.

"We're just hoping that the people who have been putting things off because of costs will come in and give us a try and have those things taken care of," said spokesman Claudio Varga.

Although the company originally announced that the discounted services would only last a week, the promotion "took on a life of its own," and the timeline has been extended to the end of the year, he said.

Nearly 20% of county residents are uninsured and require affordable medical care, Varga said.

The $69 visit covers an initial consultation with a doctor, but lab work and X-rays are extra. Those services range from $5 to $75, according to Eastbluff's website.

Follow-up visits coincide with Eastbluff's regular three-tier pricing: $95 for an office visit and minor lab work, $135 for an office visit and minor X-ray, and $175 for an office visit and sutures or stiches.

While the low-cost services will clearly benefit those without insurance, many people with insurance don't realize how an urgent care center can benefit them, Varga said.

"Studies have shown that 40% to 70% of emergency room visits could have been handled outside the emergency room in a properly equipped facility," he said.

Urgent care centers can cut up to thousands of dollars — and hours in waiting time — from emergency room visits, he said.

The facility, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends, is certified by the Urgent Care Assn. of America.

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