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CU College of Nursing’s new clinic without physicians a ‘game changer’

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AURORA, Colo.  -- The University of Colorado College of Nursing opened a clinic in Aurora on Tuesday, but there won’t be any physicians on staff. It will be run solely by nurse practitioners.

It's being called a new kind of health care.

“They try and get to know who you are,” patient Rosa Urbina said. “They want to help you. They want to meet your needs.”

Urbina is one of the clinic’s first patients. But she wasn’t seen by a doctor. Urbina spent about an hour with a nurse practitioner.

“In the state of Colorado, a nurse practitioner can treat, diagnose and prescribe without any sort of oversight from a physician,” clinic operations manager Adrienne Wolf said.

Patients can visit the clinic for primary care issues, including annual physical exams, flu shots, childhood vaccinations, integrated behavioral health care, pediatric care, sports physicals and sick visits.

By offering monthly membership fees for $59 to $79 per month, Wolf said insurance will be taken out of the equation and ultimately save patients money.

“They don’t have to pay a deductible or a co-pay,” Wolf said. “They should still have health insurance for catastrophic events. But we don’t have to bill their insurance.”

Wolf said it’s a “game changer” that will help relieve crowded urgent care facilities. She added the clinic will provide more in-depth care.

“We bring a little bit more communication into it and a bit more of a discussion,” nurse practitioner Kristen Petrelli said.

Petrelli spent about an hour with Urbina on Tuesday afternoon, which Urbina said made her feel more comfortable.

“Not just say ‘OK this is what you need to do, this is what you need to do,’ on to the next patient,” Urbina said. “They sit there and they take a while and they talk to you about what’s going on with you.”

For monthly members, the clinic is also looking into telemedicine. If members have a minor problem or question, they can set up a video conference call instead of having the patient come to the clinic.

“And the provider will see them and say, ‘Yeah, don’t come in, you know, here’s a prescription or here’s what I think is going on. If it gets worse, I think you should come and see us,’” Wolf said.

Patients can pay each visit with cash or they can bill a patient’s third-party insurance provider and accept a co-pay or deductible. A list of prices can be found on its website.

The clinic offers same and next day appointments. It’s called CU Health Partners at Belleview Point located at 5001 S. Parker Road, Suite 215. Those interested in learning more can call the clinic at 303-315-6200.

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