For the past twenty-three years, YubaDocs provided urgent care in western Nevada County. This weekend, co-owners Dr. Roger Hicks, Linda Rachmel and many of the clinic’s staff removed equipment and furniture from the leased building on Nevada City Hwy.
Just two weeks ago, Hicks shared plans for the future of YubaDocs, stating the practice was being acquired by a large healthcare system. “The buyer is wrapping up final lease negotiations,” Hicks stated accurately at the time. Negotiations came to a halt and as of today, the clinic is closed permanently.
Community members were alarmed by the possible loss of an urgent care facility as news of the stalled negotiations spread.
A letter signed by over 250 Nevada County residents, including medical professionals, elected officials, realtors and prominent community members, urged the negotiating parties to come to an agreement.
The letter reads, in part:
Yubadocs has taken some of the burden off the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Emergency Department which, like other emergency departments, is designed for serious or life threatening emergencies and must be equipped and staffed to handle whatever cases come in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yubadocs has served people with illnesses or injuries that need same-day attention but are not life threatening, such as fractures, lacerations, abscesses, ear infections, urinary tract infections, sore throats, and respiratory infections.
In 2021, YubaDocs saw over 17,000 patients, according to the letter. Yubadocs is the only clinic in the region that does occupational medicine, including workers compensation injuries, employment physicals and commercial drivers’ physicals, the letter states.
There have been no statements by the owners of the Fowler Center or Dignity Health, which was revealed to be the prospective buyer by the center’s property manager on social media.
On Sunday, the mood was grim as staff and friends cleared out the clinic.
Standing in the digital X-ray suite, Dr. Hicks pointed to the equipment, saying “It’s such a shame.” The fully certified suite is being dismantled, just like the exam and treatment rooms.
Dr. Andrea Harris has been with the clinic for ten years. “I’m worried about my patients and how they’ll receive treatment now. I don’t know what to tell them.”
Instead of receiving urgent care, the Emergency Room at SNMH will be the only option for many. How this will impact the hospital and the workload in the ER is unknown at this point.
April 10, 2023 at 4:41 PM Update, the following statement has been submitted by Dignity Health: “Dignity Health can confirm we will not be acquiring Yubadocs Urgent Care. However, we understand the critical role that urgent care plays in our community, and we are currently exploring options to expand those types of services to ensure patients continue to have access to care. Our commitment to delivering high-quality, compassionate and cost-effective care to Nevada County is always our top priority. As more information becomes available, we will be sure to share.”