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Kaiser to open new medical center in Timonium

Renderings of Kaiser Permanente's planned medical center in Timonium. (Submitted)

Renderings of Kaiser Permanente’s planned medical center in Timonium. (Gresham Smith)

Kaiser Permanente announced plans Friday for a major medical center hub in Timonium, its fourth such medical hub in Maryland.

The new center, scheduled to open in 2021, will deliver Kaiser’s model of integrated care that gives patients access to almost everything they will need in one building.

“We’ve made a big investment in the mid-Atlantic to deliver the highest quality care,” said Dr. Richard McCarthy, associate executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “The aim is to make sure that we have the best doctors providing the best care with the best access to care.”

The Timonium center joins Kaiser Permanente medical center hubs — facilities that include all services under one roof — in Gaithersburg, Largo and Halethorpe. Including these hubs, Kaiser operates 20 medical centers in Maryland.

The new center will offer services that include 24-hour urgent care, 24-hour pharmacy, outpatient operating rooms, a laboratory and imaging services. It will have offices for primary care providers and a wide variety of medical specialties.

It will also be able to offer more comprehensive electronic health care that includes telemedicine and online prescription refills. It will accept same-day or next-day appointments, allowing patients referred from one specialist to another a quick turnaround.

“Our health system provides outstanding clinical care with unmatched access and convenience to our members,” Kim Horn, Kaiser Permanente’s regional president covering Maryland, said in a statement. “Our new medical hub in Timonium will provide members with best-in-the-nation  clinical care in person or online, increased health care access and the convenience of having a full range of primary and specialty care services in the same building.”

Unlike most health insurance companies, a significant part of Kaiser Permanente’s model is offering in-house care to its members.

That type of vertical integration helps reduce costs and it could also help with patient outcomes.

One of the benefits of the Kaiser model, officials say, is that doctors have access to a patient’s complete electronic health record. Within Kaiser, they know every visit, phone call, prescription and image a member has with their providers.

“From a patient’s perspective, their care is coordinated,” McCarthy, a neurologist, said. “We also have the ability to connect with one another in a way that most doctors don’t.”

The 221,795-square-foot Timonium center will be at 2323 Greenspring Drive in Timonium, less than a quarter-mile from the Timonium Fairgrounds’ light-rail stop.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. hopes the new medical center, with its access to the light rail, will help grow jobs and economic opportunity in the county.

“This location will provide a great resource to the community as well as job opportunities to the residents of Baltimore County,” he said in a statement.

Kaiser Permanente will also have a ribbon-cutting ceremony next week for its new space in New Carrollton. That facility, which includes the insurer’s administrative offices, will house about 850 people in the New Carrollton Transit Center.

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