All posts by JUCM

The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine supports the evolution of urgent care medicine by creating content that addresses both the clinical practice of urgent care medicine and the practice management challenges of keeping pace with an ever-changing healthcare marketplace. As the Official Publication of the Urgent Care Association of America and the Urgent Care College of Physicians, JUCM seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and to expand on the core competencies of urgent care medicine as they apply to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Massachusetts’ secretary of Health and Human Services is on record as saying urgent care is ideally suited to help reduce overcrowding emergency rooms, at least in Boston. As a guest on Herald Radio’s Morning Meeting program, Marylou Sudders referenced a recent report that patients are waiting nearly an hour to be seen, on average, in the EDs at Boston Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her proposed solution would be to have more urgent care centers specifically designed to get people with behavioral or addiction issues in and outRead More
Despite being ahead of the curve on telemedicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs is finding its progress hindered by licensing laws in some states. The “problem” is that sometimes virtual visits take place between a provider who is on federal government property and a patient who isn’t; this is especially dicey if the provider isn’t licensed in the state the patient is in. The VA says federal legislation would clear the path for providers to deliver care to veterans in any location—one of the hallmark benefits of telemedicine in theRead More
Here’s the scenario: Your clinic opens at 8. A nonclinical staff member arrives at 7:50, only to find a woman in distress waiting at the locked front door, complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath and heading toward a full-blown panic. You hope your staffer would: Let the patient in immediately, then call the first clinician scheduled to work to see how close they are to arriving Let the patient in immediately and call 911 Not let the patient in, but stay with her and call 911 Tell theRead More
The increased wait times in emergency rooms and explosion in the popularity of urgent care have been (and continue to be) well documented. Not as much attention has been paid to why there’s so much more traffic. A study soon to be published in Academic Emergency Medicine reveals a few of the answers—and some of them support the notion that urgent care fulfills unique needs, either clinically or in terms of patient preference: Limited access to or confidence in primary care Patient-perceived urgency Convenience Views of family, friends or otherRead More
The Urgent Care Association of Michigan, working with the Urgent Care Association of America and the College of Urgent Care Medicine, is laying the groundwork for its regional conference, scheduled to take place July 17 and 18 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI. Built around the theme of Drive Change!, the conference will feature 30 sessions broken into four tracks (Midwest Clinician, UC Management, Clinical Support & Super MA, and Hands-on Lab). Content is designed for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, radiology techs, practice managers, and more. Pricing structuresRead More
A new study by Safe Kids Worldwide reveals more than 400,000 children are injured in bike, scooter, skateboard, and roller blade accidents every year. Now that wheels of every variety are coming out of the garage for the first time in months, there’s an opportunity to stress your urgent care center’s vital role in community health and safety—before and after injuries occur. First, ask patients if they’re planning to make good on promises to get more fit this year. If their plans involve getting back on a bicycle, recommend theyRead More
UnitedHealth Group thought it was a great idea at the time: offer no-cost primary and behavioral care, in the hope that the company would bring in enough money through claims, while also building a loyal customer base. Detractors may say it was a nonstarter, or that the notion had merit but was poorly designed; some may even point the finger at the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). Either way, the company is shutting down Harken Health, the subsidiary under which it ran the program, after a little over aRead More
The emergency room at the Washington (DC) Hospital Center had a statistically validated reputation for long waits—more than 115 minutes, on average. They’ve managed to lop an hour off that, though, thanks to a new telemedicine system that’s helped reduce clutter and time waiting to be seen. Employing a system called Teletriage, by EmOpti, the MedStar-owned facility now uses video to allow providers to see a patient remotely during the triage process. Triage nurses start ordering tests and certain medications while patients wait for a full, in-person physical. Now averageRead More
Urgent Message: To enable early detection and treatment to help curb future transmissions, CDC guidelines recommend HIV testing be available for patients in all healthcare settings, including urgent care centers. HIV testing can be a practical, profitable, public health service for urgent care centers. Many patients, especially millennials, rely on urgent care as their “provider of first choice.” These are patients who are generally healthy and have no chronic conditions requiring long-term management, but who do need someplace to go when the occasional illness or injury strikes. In addition, theseRead More
Growing investment by service providers, occupational medicine companies, and entrepreneurs, along with wider acceptance by health plans, seems to confirm that telemedicine is no longer the Next Big Thing, but a newly essential service that urgent care operators need to consider offering. Most recently, U.S. HealthWorks announced that it’s launching a comprehensive telemedicine program called USHW CareConnectNOW, which will link patients to state-licensed medical providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So far, that’s available to self-pay urgent care patients in multiple states, and to worker compensation patientsRead More