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A Revolution in Health Care:

When times are tough and wallets need to be pinched just a little more to make ends meet, think twice about jeopardizing your health and well-being. Urban Remedies on Abbott Kinney has a solution to keep you from emptying your pockets.

Eric Baumgartner is a third generation doctor and father of three preschoolers. While he hardly claims to be a revolutionary, he does want to change how medicine is delivered. “We want our clients to look forward to going to their health care provider. The entire experience from start to finish should be pleasant and actually result in changes in your health.”

While most visits to your typical health care facility are filled with long lines and other frustrated patients, and one spends more time in the waiting room than with an actual doctor, Urban Remedies is different. The warm comfortable facilities couldn’t be any opposite from a normal doctor’s office. Many first impressions are that you are in your best friend’s living room. There are eight comfortable lounge chairs, a fireplace, a balcony overlooking Abbott Kinney Boulevard, and a shoes–off environment.

“We practice acupuncture here based on the way it is practiced in the cultures that developed it,” explains Baumgartner. “The intent is to provide a relaxed place where neighbors can come and get healing and balance in a communal setting. Eastern cultures recognize that there is energy in community that will aid in the healing process.”

This particular medical revolution started in Portland about six years ago. Acupuncturists there, utilizing the community concept still in practice in Asia, developed a model for making medicine more effective, and at the same time, more affordable. Baumgartner continues, “We took their model of providing treatment at about the same cost as the co-pay for a doctor’s visit, and gave the process a few Southern California twists. For one thing, our facility is designed with the West Side customer in mind.”

According to the US Census in August of 2007, nearly 46 million, or 18 percent of people under the age of 65, do not have health insurance. This leads to people not being able to afford any doctors visits or check-ups to keep them in tip top shape. This can be damaging to your well-being, but Urban Remedies has a resolution for that.

The third part of the revolutionary plan was the way the patient pays. “We charge on a sliding scale from $25-$50 a visit. And the patient decides how much to pay, not us. For those with substantial hardship situations, we will even try to work out something for less. We want anyone who needs care, whether because they are in pain, depressed, or dealing with digestive issues, insomnia, addictions, or just out of sorts, to not allow financial issues to get in the way of their seeking help.”

Urban Remedy will also see clients on a private basis by appointment. The community room is open every day, but times vary based on the availability of practitioners who help at the center. Check the hours that Urban Remedy is open by visiting their website at or calling 310-396-8928.

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