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.

A new study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals that the risk for long-term opioid use—defined as use that lasts for at least 1 year—increases within just a few days of starting to take a prescribed opioid drug. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data reflecting the care of more than a million patients who received at least one opioid prescription between June 1, 2006, and September 1, 2015. Patients with cancer and those with a substance use disorder were disqualified from theRead More
The episodic nature of the urgent care setting makes it a popular target for opioid addicts “doctor shopping” for someone new to write prescriptions. As such, urgent care clinicians must remain always-vigilant for ways to help stem rampant opioid addiction. One tool that’s built into the urgent care electronic medical record systems (eprescribing) can be a valuable weapon in that fight. Where a paper script—or, worse, a whole pad—can be lost or stolen, an electronic order goes directly from the EMR to the pharmacy. While states may start requiring thatRead More
Just last week we told you that Code 3 Emergency Partners was setting up shop with an urgent care center and freestanding emergency room at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Now the company has announced plans for an urgent care center and pharmacy at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, as well; that location is slated to open in May of this year. The moves are far from random, as Code 3 CEO Carrie de Moor, MD, FACEP says the company has embarked on a strategy of finding “unique locations”Read More
Your child wakes up with a sore throat and a fever. Like any responsible parent, you take a sick day and call the pediatrician, only to hear “Sorry, nothing today. We may be able to squeeze you in tomorrow afternoon.” Now what? Well, 42% of the 2,000+ parents surveyed in the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health say they would take their child to an urgent care center, retail clinic, or the emergency room instead of waiting. Another 42% said they would call their child’s doctor “forRead More
Urgent message: As in most business settings, urgent care operators emphasize the importance of a positive cognitive culture. Given the close quarters and frequent interaction among colleagues and patients, however, emotional culture can also have a strong influence on quality of care, patient and employee satisfaction—and even the success of the operation. [The following summary of the January-February, 2016 Harvard Business Review Article spotlights how organizations are slowly realizing the importance of managing the emotional culture of their workplace. Traditionally, most organizations pay little heed to how its employees feelRead More
Spring has officially arrived, and with the snow continuing to melt it won’t be long before seasonal allergens are in full bloom. Urgent care physicians are reminded, however, that symptoms of allergic reactions to pollen and ragweed can be identical to those seen in patients who are allergic to cannabis, ranging from mild sinusitis to acute exacerbations of asthma. Since allergy panels don’t typically test for reaction to marijuana, the only way to get a clear picture of what’s causing the patient’s symptoms is to do a thorough history, evenRead More
Whether it’s due to changes in the healthcare insurance landscape, the habits of millennials, or just plain societal evolution, the public continues to recognize urgent care as a viable option more every year—reflected in the increasing number of centers around the country (up 10% since 2015, according to the Urgent Care Association of America). Hospitals were a little late to the party, but are making up for lost time by continuing to open their own urgent care centers at a brisk pace. As detailed in The Morning Call in Pennsylvania’sRead More
Righttime Medical Care has developed a program within its urgent care practice for assessing patients, often young athletes, for concussion. Called HeadFirst Sports Injury and Concussion Care, it boasts clinical staff trained in FDA-approved baseline tests. As with any new idea, however, the challenge is making sure the people who need your services know you’re there. Righttime hit upon the right idea when they linked their own promotional efforts to the Brain Injury Association of America’s (BIAA) Brain Injury Awareness Month (March) and Brain Injury Awareness Day (March 22).  WhileRead More
Freestanding emergency rooms have been roundly criticized for their billing practices, most often as a result of “surprise bills” that patients don’t feel they should have to pay and insurers absolutely refuse to consider. In addition to angering patients and inspiring legislators to draft new consumer-protection laws, though, many freestanding ER companies are having a tough time getting paid at all. Adeptus, considered the leading provider in the industry, has been especially hard hit. Its stock price has tumbled from over $120 a share to just $2.50. Analysts say it’sRead More
Telemedicine has been shown to provide valuable access for patients who otherwise might not be able to see a physician in person. Unfortunately, not all patients have gotten the message that it’s best used as an alternative to heading to the doctor’s office; instead, they follow a virtual visit with a face-to-face encounter, thereby costing themselves and/or their insurers money unnecessarily. When RAND crunched data on CalPERS Blue Shield members who used Teledoc virtual visit services for symptoms of bronchitis, it found that <12% of patients stayed away from theRead More