Practice Management Articles

Urgent message: A chain of command exists in most organizations to assure efficient and accurate communication, orderly and organized business operations, and proper allocation of time and resources. When the chain of command is broken, however, the entire business can suffer.  In American business culture, organizations are typically built in a hierarchal structure and follow an established chain of command. To ensure smooth and efficient operations, employees are generally expected to communicate work issues to the supervisor directly above them in the hierarchy for direction and resolution. Conversely, high-level managers,Read More
Urgent message: Travel medicine is a service addition that enables urgent care operators to attract more patients and increase revenue from existing patients while leveraging existing infrastructure and personnel. When an urgent care center’s patient revenues exceed operating expenses, the operation is said to have achieved break-even profitability—at which point each incremental patient visit contributes directly to the bottom line. Nevertheless, in the face of rising fixed costs and falling payer reimbursements, many centers still struggle to grow profits year after year. Thus, urgent care operators often look to ancillaryRead More
Urgent message: Medical assistants (MAs) provide flexible, cost-effective clinical support for urgent care centers. With proper training and working under a physician’s supervision, an MA can perform most basic support functions in this setting. Introduction While there’s a lack of verifiable data as to the total number of unsuccessful urgent care endeavors, we can presume at least one common reason urgent care centers shutter their doors and permanently cease operations: they exhaust their working capital. Working capital funds business operations, covering expenses such as payroll, rent, and supplies. Newly openedRead More
Urgent message: There is a growing need for awareness of medical, safety, and social issues involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in health care. Here’s how urgent care fits in. Introduction There are significant unmet health needs among members of the U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) population, many of whom are afraid to access the health-care system and face barriers to care even if they do seek treatment. Clearly there is room for urgent care centers to step up with services and customer serviceRead More
Urgent message: Urgent care plays a vital role in reducing medical expenses and improving population health by enabling the right care, at the right place, by the right provider, at the right price. Introduction Health-care reform, quality of care, and costs are center stage topics for politicians and the general public. As medical providers and administrators in the United States, we share in the challenge of understanding this complex system. Whereas traditional approaches in the fee-for-service environment focused on “sick care,” population health promotes prevention and healthy lifestyles. Under discussionRead More
Using Telemedicine to Improve Throughput and Build Market Share
Urgent message: Telemedicine can augment walk-in urgent care operations via provider load–balancing across centers in multiunit networks as well as direct-to-consumer platforms that expand a center’s geographic coverage, differentiate a center’s brand from that of competitors, and drive additional revenue. Introduction Given that the most common diagnoses seen in urgent care centers are low-acuity, low-touch conditions affecting the respiratory system, ears, nose, or throat—many of which can be treated via telemedicine— the looming question for many urgent care operators is “What will telemedicine’s impact be on my business?”Read More
Urgent message: As urgent care operators look for ways to speed patient flow and raise visit revenue, medical scribes may be a solution for increasing provider efficiency and improving documentation accuracy. How this article helps you: provides information useful in deciding whether your center would benefit from hiring scribes. Introduction Urgent care is unique among health-care delivery models in its focus on providing quick turnaround. To get patients in and out of the center in less than an hour, urgent care operators focus on developing systems, processes, and training toRead More
Urgent message: Key performance indicators provide the yardstick by which urgent care strategy and execution are tracked over time, highlighting areas requiring management intervention, facilitating comparison with peers, and enabling a culture of continual improvement. Introduction Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable business metrics used by organizations to gauge various aspects of their performance over time. Regular monitoring and evaluation of KPIs help provide insight into an organization’s financial health and spotlight organizational strengths and weaknesses. KPIs are also used to set strategic and organizational goals, and to measure a company’s performance against industry benchmarks.Read More