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North Dakotas First Convenient Medical Clinic Fast Track by MeritCare Opens

In September 2006, Hornbacher's and MeritCare announced that they would be opening North Dakota's first convenient medical clinic (CMC), "FastTrack by MeritCare." Today, Monday, Dec. 18, the clinic opened in the new Hornbacher's at Osgood, 4151 45th St. S., Fargo. Staff will provide basic medical services such as the treatment of strep throat, colds and pink eye without an appointment. While Fast Track is not meant to replace a person's primary-care provider, it offers consumers ages 2-64 fast, affordable services in a convenient location.

In September 2006, Hornbacher's and MeritCare announced that they would be opening North Dakota's first convenient medical clinic (CMC), "FastTrack by MeritCare." Today, Monday, Dec. 18, the clinic opened in the new Hornbacher's at Osgood, 4151 45th St. S., Fargo. Staff will provide basic medical services such as the treatment of strep throat, colds and pink eye without an appointment. While Fast Track is not meant to replace a person's primary-care provider, it offers consumers ages 2-64 fast, affordable services in a convenient location.

The hours of operation are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. (These are the same hours as Medical Pharmacy, which is also located in Hornbacher's.)

More information:
  • Fast Track will be staffed by MeritCare nurse practitioners and will offer limited, basic medical services.
  • Consumers will be able to walk in without an appointment and obtain basic care and prescriptions in approximately 15 minutes.
  • Information from the visit will be sent to the person's primary-care MeritCare provider after the visit.
  • The standard visit will be $45 with additional charges for lab tests.
  • Patients will need to pay for visits upfront with cash, a check or a credit card.
  • Due to government regulations, FastTrack cannot treat anyone covered under Medicare or Medicaid insurance; those individuals will be referred to the MeritCare Walk-In Clinic on south University, or to their primary care provider.

Convenient medical clinics (CMCs) are a fast-developing trend:
  • CMCs originally started in 2000 by QuickMedX (now MinuteClinic) based out of Minneapolis, Minn.
  • In 2003, the first health system, Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, Wis., opened its own brand of CMCs.
  • The CMC concept is spreading quickly through the United States. As of September 2005, there were approximately 47 CMCs in the United States; in April 2006, there were an estimated 158.