SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As the Springfield area has seen a surge in the number of emergency room visits, there has also been an increase in wait times at clinic-based labs.
The increase in wait times began around June 1 after Mercy sold its clinic-based labs to Quest Diagnostics.
Additionally, patients had wait times ranging from 30 minutes to four hours for their test results.
“It’s not about patients complaining about the cost, this was really about how we work through controlled health care costs across the Mercy system,” said Craig McCoy, the Mercy Communities president.
McCoy said the transition was far from smooth. Normally, when you go to the doctor, your information is all there, but an interface connection issue got rid of patient information.
“They were manually having to enter the patient information back in,” said McCoy.
This happened at other Mercy hospitals. Wait times returned to normal after a couple of days, but McCoy said he doesn’t plan to return back to the clinic-based lab services.
“It was a well-vetted decision to do this and intent and purpose behind it,” said McCoy. “It will be beneficial ultimately for our patients rather than anybody else.”
The lower-cost lab services might not go into effect immediately, but, according to McCoy, patients will see a decrease in cost in the near future.