A New Model Attempts to Give Health Care Wings

March 1, 2014

by Cheryl L. Serra

Cheryl L. SerraImagine bringing health care to patients instead of requiring patients to travel to health care. Ernie Clevenger, co-founder and president of CareHere, LLC, did just that. The result? His company has a health care clinic with a retail component, the CareHere Walk-In Clinic and Wellness Store, located in the Nashville International Airport (airport code BNA). On average 10 patrons and patients have transactions at the clinic and store an hour, which translates to more than 2,000 total trans­actions a month, Clevenger says.

Based in Brentwood, TN, CareHere has 155 clinics in 21 states, and they all have a few commonalities. They are located near or at employee work locations and are for the exclusive use of employees and their families. Most are self-funded by the employer’s or client’s health care plan. The BNA clinic differs in that it serves people using the airport in addition to people who work there.

Some CareHere clinics have been set up in unusual places. For instance, in the first year of the now 10-year-old business, a portable classroom behind an elementary school served as a clinic for employees of a Tennessee county. Clevenger recalls the building wasn’t attractive, it wasn’t painted, and it rattled and creaked in the wind. But it offered patients privacy, quality health care, and cleanliness. And it served 185 patients a week.

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