WEST READING — Tower Health is expanding its network of urgent care centers in the region. The health care provider announced Tuesday that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire Premier Urgent Care, which operates 19 locations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tower Health will acquire Premier — with facilities in the health care provider’s southeast service area — including Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties. There is also one Premier Urgent Care location in Berks County and one in Delaware.
"Tower Health is committed to taking care of our communities, providing the most appropriate care in the right place, at the right time," Clint Matthews, president and CEO, Tower Health, said in a press release. "Our acquisition of Premier Urgent Care is a tremendous opportunity to quickly fill a need in our communities for access to walk-in care when a patient's doctor is not available or when a consumer does not have a doctor."
According to Daniel Ahern, vice president, strategy & business development for Tower Health, access to care was identified in the company’s updated strategic plan as an opportunity for expansion, adding that urgent care centers are a growth area in the health care industry.
“We don’t see them as competitive with primary care; they are complementary with primary care,” he said.
The company expects the transaction to be completed later this fall, perhaps by early November, according to Ahern — once license transfers and necessary regulatory approval are obtained.
When the transaction is completed, Tower Health Urgent Care, as the centers will be known, will become the largest provider of urgent care services — based on weekly visits — in the Philadelphia region.
Ahern did not have statistics for weekly visits at Tower Health’s three Quick Care Center in Berks County, but said Premier currently sees 200,000 annual visits — or more than 3,800 weekly visits.
Over the coming weeks, patients at Premier Urgent Care will see no changes in their visits, according to Ahern, who said the centers will then be integrated into Tower Health’s quality metrics with the goal of providing, “high quality care, at a lower cost and with easy access,” he said.
Ahern added that there are no plans at this point to close any of the Premier Urgent Care centers once the acquisition is completed. That includes the Tower Health Quick Care Center in Douglassville, Berks County that operates in close proximity in to a Premier Urgent Care facility.
“Both offices are very busy and successful,” he said. “We plan to continue to operate both for now.”
Ahern added that the transaction with Premier, “is not the end, it’s just the beginning” in terms of continued growth of urgent care centers for Tower Health. “We will grow in markets where there is high demand,” he added.
As part of Tower Health's regional, integrated provider/payer system, the expanded network of urgent care centers will improve access to Tier 1 in-network, integrated, high-quality, high-value care, according to a press release.
"We are extremely pleased to join with Tower Health to expand access to this important level of care. We share a common commitment to providing high quality care at the most appropriate level to our communities," Edward Silverman, DO, Premier Urgent Care CEO, said in the release.
Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Caln Township; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in Penn Township in southern Chester County.
It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; and a connected network of 2,000 physicians, specialists and providers across 65 convenient locations. For more information, visit www.towerhealth.org
Premier Urgent Care operates 19 existing centers in Pennsylvania and Delaware. For more information, visit www.premierimc.com