(BOSTON, MA) – Partners HealthCare, an integrated health care system founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has announced a partnership with MedSpring Urgent Care to open and operate multiple urgent care clinics in eastern Massachusetts. The joint venture, which will be known as Partners Urgent Care, will offer all area residents improved access to convenient, affordable health care, beginning in early 2015. Exact locations will be announced at a later date.

“By partnering with MedSpring Urgent Care, we can offer affordable urgent health care alternatives closer to home,” said Gregg S. Meyer, MD, MSc, Chief Clinical Officer at Partners HealthCare. “Together we will offer our community the highest quality urgent care services, which can be an appropriate alternative to an emergency department.”

Partners Urgent Care locations will have physicians on-site from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays. Patients will be able to be seen on a walk-in basis or schedule advance appointments and will have access to treatment for routine illnesses and injuries from colds and coughs to cuts and broken bones. On-site lab tests, digital X-rays, vaccines and physicals will also be provided. Patients covered by all commercial and public insurance plans can be seen at all of the centers.

“We are proud of our collaboration with this prestigious organization to provide Massachusetts residents the same patient-focused service and care we’ve delivered in Austin, Chicago and Houston for the past several years,” said MedSpring’s Chief Medical Officer Jon L. Belsher, M.D. “We look forward to providing great care in appropriate settings to help Massachusetts manage the cost of health care.”

For non-life threatening conditions, urgent care centers offer a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to the emergency department. A complete visit typically lasts less than an hour and co-pays are consistent with that of a routine office visit. For those with a high deductible plan, savings can be even more dramatic, with a typical urgent care visit costing less than $ 200 compared to well over $1,000 for a comparable ED visit. As always, for conditions threatening a patient’s life, limb or vision, an emergency department is the most appropriate setting for care.

Each urgent care center will have similar conveniences to existing MedSpring centers in other states, which include unique amenities such as complimentary snacks and beverages, free Wi-Fi, in-room televisions, and activities for children. After hundreds of thousands of visits across 17 locations, patients consistently rate MedSpring 4.9 out of 5 stars.

The urgent care initiative is subject to regulatory approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other regulatory agencies.