Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Marys Clinic Traffic Couldn't Support Mayo

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

St. Marys Clinic Traffic Couldn't Support Mayo

Article excerpt

ST. MARYS -- The Mayo Primary Care Center opened in St. Marys four years ago with the intention of helping local residents gain access to one of the most respected and well known hospitals in the country.

"The Mayo practice model is appealing to a lot of people," said Harold Huber, associate administrator for Mayo Clinic. "We thought we could help the community get access to Mayo sub-specialists."

But the Mayo name apparently wasn't appealing enough. The clinic closed Sept. 1.

Only about 20 patients a day visited the clinic across the street from Camden Medical Center, Huber said, and forced hospital administrators to make the "difficult decision" to close it.

The lack of business can be blamed, in part, to higher insurance costs for Georgia residents referred to the Jacksonville hospital by the care-center doctors. Most of those patients had to pay a higher co-payment as out-of-state residents, Huber said.

"The patients were making a choice based on cost care," Huber said. "It's difficult to cross state lines with a medical practice and do it effectively. They didn't have the flexibility."

Patients were notified by letter in July of plans to shut down the clinic. The two care center physicians, Gary Glicksteen and Bruce Mitchell, accepted positions at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, the letter said.

"We regret any inconvenience this may cause and will do everything possible to assist you in the transition of your medical care to another primary care physician," the letter to patients said.

Because of the clinic's small patient load, Huber said "it's hard to believe other physicians [in Camden County] were overwhelmed" with new customers, Huber said.

Other Camden County doctors said they have seen a slight increase in business the past few months.

Gerald O'Donoghue said his Kings Bay Walk-In Clinic in St. …

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