Urgent care centers, where speedy service is promised and walk-ins are welcome, are becoming an increasingly popular recourse for sick or hurt people across the tri-state area looking for quick remedies to everyday health concerns.
Many say the centers provide a level of access to treatment that wouldn’t otherwise exist, but the rapid growth of the industry has some calling for tighter regulations — and more transparency when it comes to communicating with patients about who is treating them.
Consider the case of 39-year-old George Trovato, who went to Island Urgent Care in Wading Rivers three years ago complaining of joint pain. A physician assistant treated the father of two and recommended exercise; within a few weeks Trovato had a heart attack and died.
Trovato’s wife, Jennifer Trovato, who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the urgent care center, told NBC 4 New York her family found out only after husband died that he had been treated by a physician assistant, not by a doctor. According to the lawsuit, the family believes that physician assistant’s error caused his death.
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