Hospital Workers Sued Their Employer Over a Vaccine Mandate. It Didn’t Go Well

Hospital Workers Sued Their Employer Over a Vaccine Mandate. It Didn’t Go Well

By now, most Americans who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (which amounts to most Americans) have probably gotten it—unless they have opted not to. That can prove problematic from more than just a public health perspective when employers try to force the issue. Anecdotally, we’ve learned that a surprisingly high number of healthcare workers have refused to be immunized. So, it should be of interest that a federal judge in Texas just dismissed …

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Let Reluctant Patients Know: COVID-19 ‘Herd Immunity’ May Be a Pipe Dream in Some States

Let Reluctant Patients Know: COVID-19 ‘Herd Immunity’ May Be a Pipe Dream in Some States

Some individuals who are opting out of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine say they’re counting on yet-to-be-realized herd immunity to protect them from long-term risk of being infected with the virus. One of the emerging ironies of the pandemic is that so many of those people reside together in states with low rates that herd immunity is unlikely to occur. This may be especially concerning in light of data from the ZOE COVID Study in the …

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The Future Has Never Looked Brighter—or More Lucrative—for Rural Urgent Care Operators

The Future Has Never Looked Brighter—or More Lucrative—for Rural Urgent Care Operators

With many urgent care centers seeing net revenue of $120 per visit or less, case rate (flat fee) reimbursement disincentivizing a high level of care, and Medicaid reimbursement at less than $100 in most states, emerging changes in reimbursements for rural health clinics could be a powerful argument for looking at expansion in underserved “country” communities. The recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act includes updates to reimbursements for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), defined by the Centers …

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Day to Day, the COVID-19 News Gets Sunnier—but the Long-Term Forecast Is Concerning

Day to Day, the COVID-19 News Gets Sunnier—but the Long-Term Forecast Is Concerning

Masks are coming off, restaurants, stadiums, and theaters are welcoming patrons back, and summer vacation plans are coming to fruition. Claiming victory over the pandemic would be both premature and concerning, however, according to public health officials as quoted in an article just published by The Guardian. For one thing, the aforementioned relaxing of preventive measures will be a test of just how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in the real world as people dive back …

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Urgent Care Centers Had It Bad at the Height of the Pandemic, but ED’s May Take a Bigger Hit

Urgent Care Centers Had It Bad at the Height of the Pandemic, but ED’s May Take a Bigger Hit

Readers of JUCM News are painfully aware of downturns in urgent care patient visits throughout much of the COVID-19 pandemic. As testing supplies and now vaccines have become more readily available, and patients feel safer venturing to healthcare facilities, a healthy rebound is in effect at urgent care centers across the country. According to an article just published online by Modern Healthcare, however, hospital emergency rooms are having a tough time recouping the patients who …

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UnitedHealthcare Will Stop Covering Some ED Visits. Could Urgent Care Benefit?

UnitedHealthcare Will Stop Covering Some ED Visits. Could Urgent Care Benefit?

When even the headline of one of Yahoo News’s rotating lead stories notes “backlash” against a decision made by a health insurer, it’s not a good week for the company’s image. However, UnitedHealthcare’s announcement that it’s going to start looking long and hard at emergency room visits—and denying or reducing payment on claims deemed to be nonemergent—could wind up benefiting the urgent care industry. In a network bulletin posted on its website, UHC announced it …

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Not Seeing Enough Adolescents Show Up for COVID-19 Shots? Stress the Social Benefits

Not Seeing Enough Adolescents Show Up for COVID-19 Shots? Stress the Social Benefits

Just weeks after the Food and Drug Administration extended the Emergency Use Authorization on COVID-19 immunization to include children ages 12 and up, rapidly accumulating data that should drive parents to get their kids vaccinated is just not having that effect. While the number of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 and its complications is still higher than it is for younger people, the rate of hospitalizations for adults has plateaued while it’s slowly increasing for adolescents—likely …

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It’s Not Too Early to Start Looking at the Next Flu Season—and It’s Not a Pretty Picture

It’s Not Too Early to Start Looking at the Next Flu Season—and It’s Not a Pretty Picture

As reported in JUCM News previously, mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing through much of the COVID-19 pandemic not only saved lives with regard to that virus, but had the side benefit of protecting the public against influenza. Rates of flu infection, hospitalization, and death were lower than they’ve been in years during the 2020-21 season. The fear among public health officials and experts now is that flu rates could come back with a vengeance once …

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Colorado Is Paying Freestanding EDs to Shut Down. Is This a Sign of Things to Come?

Colorado Is Paying Freestanding EDs to Shut Down. Is This a Sign of Things to Come?

Freestanding emergency rooms have been the bane of many urgent care operator’s existence—and a source of outrage for patients who wind up getting stuck with a hefty and unexpected bill after seeking care at such facilities. Legislative bodies in multiple states have taken steps to prevent freestanding ED operators from hitting patients with surprise bills while trying to mandate price transparency, but Colorado has done them one step better. The state is incentivizing administrators to …

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Trust in the COVID-19 Vaccines Is Growing—Take Advantage for the Sake of Your Patients and Your Business

Trust in the COVID-19 Vaccines Is Growing—Take Advantage for the Sake of Your Patients and Your Business

As we’ve told you, the public’s enthusiasm for the COVID-19 vaccines was surprisingly muted once the initial excitement over their availability wore off. Doubt over their safety, especially regarding possible long-term effects, has kept too many people from getting the shot even though it’s the one definitive act that could help bring the pandemic to a close. An article just published by the Journal of the American Medical Association brings good news, however; as more …

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