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School District near-site clinic to open

A comprehensive urgent care and primary care clinic for Jamestown Public School District is set to open on March 19, according to management. Rachot Vacharothone, M.D., president and CEO of Medallus Medical based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was pres...

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Just after presenting to the Jamestown Public School Board on Monday, from left, Rachot Vacharothone, M.D., president and CEO of Medallus Medical based in Salt Lake City; Randy Johnson, vice president of ‎Hays Companies, Lorie Andersen, an executive with Edge Health Partners, and Roxanne Johnson, the clinic nurse practitioner for family medicine and mental health at Medallus Medical in Jamestown. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

A comprehensive urgent care and primary care clinic for Jamestown Public School District is set to open on March 19, according to management.

Rachot Vacharothone, M.D., president and CEO of Medallus Medical based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was present at the Jamestown Public School Board meeting Monday. He said the clinic will offer urgent care, primary care and occupational medicine services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week at 723 1st Ave. S.

"This is the start of something that we would like to spread to other cities," Vacharothone said after the meeting.

Medallus Medical has eight sites in Utah. The first out-of-state sites will open March 2 in Elko, Nev., followed by Jamestown on March 19, he said.

"The bottom line is 90 percent of medical needs are basic needs," Vacharothone said. "You don't need to go to the hospital or need a specialist (most times) but people don't know that."

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The Health Insurance Committee recommended the agreement with Medallus Medical in March 2017. School Board and Health Insurance Committee member Robert Toso said the community has been also been asking for a similar clinic.

Randy Johnson, vice president of ‎Hays Companies, the risk management consulting firm that worked with the school district on comparing costs, said the average cost of a primary care office visit in Jamestown increased 15 percent from $139 in 2015 to $159 in 2016. It increased 17 percent to $187 in 2017, he said.

The average cost of the on site clinic will be $131 per visit, Johnson said. The average time with the patient is 20 minutes versus 12 minutes in a standard clinic setting, he said.

The school district pays a portion of $1,300 monthly clinic rent and $35,000 in initial development and supply start-up costs, Johnson said.

Under the contract an $18 monthly administration fee per school district employee would come from the school district health insurance fund, Johnson said. After that the costs are based on a per visit basis using a competitive set fee structure.

"This model could actually save money," said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public School District. "We are getting good feedback from staff."

Roxanne Johnson will serve as the clinic nurse practitioner for family medicine and mental health. Jody Tanner will serve as the physician assistant on the urgent care side.

There will be 10 to 15 employees, Vacharothone said. The 3,000-square-foot clinic will have seven examination rooms, three trauma areas, a cardiac area, an X-ray room, lab and basic pharmacy.

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In other business the School Board approved:

• a cooperative agreement with Barnes County North School District to allow for students to participate in gymnastics with Jamestown School District. School Board members Greg Allen and Sedric Trevithick were not present.

• the hiring of Paula Grueneich as special education teacher at Washington Elementary School.

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