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.

Urgent care providers were not named among those most likely to be sued in Medscape’s recent Malpractice Report 2017, but a look at the research is likely to offer some insights that could help them lower their risk for landing in court. “Failure to diagnose/delayed diagnosis” was the reason for 31% of the lawsuits against physicians in the survey—the most prevalent among all causes mentioned. “Complications from treatment/surgery” was the second-most common answer (27%). Procedural missteps were low on the list—but they were still on the list: “Poor documentation ofRead More
All the recent talk about Amazon’s plans to become a wholesale pharmacy distributor seems to have been exactly that—just talk—as industry analysts have learned the online retailer has no intentions (currently) to start storing and shipping medications. Rather, they expect the company to use the pharmacy licenses it obtained in 12 states recently for medical devices and supplies. The investment firm Jefferies learned that Amazon went so far as to tell officials in Tennessee and Indiana specifically that it “will not store or ship drugs.” Nevertheless, this does not meanRead More
As many healthcare systems continue to break ground on their own urgent care facilities and others scan the horizon for operations ripe for acquisition, a third option is starting to pick up steam: Some hospitals are contracting with third parties to run their urgent care business in the hope of ensuring their in-house “startups” are operated by industry veterans. Physicians Immediate Care and OSF Healthcare have already entered into such an arrangement, as have Premier Healthcare and Indiana University Health Southern Indiana Physicians. Now, in the latest example, Urgent TeamRead More
Urgent message: Give ample consideration to the key factors—your credit history, taxes, technology, the cost of maintenance, and what your business truly needs—before deciding whether buying or leasing equipment is best for your urgent care operation. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Whether to lease or buy equipment for your urgent care center is a tricky question, and there is no “one size fits all” answer. There are severalRead More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is intent on driving down inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, and using U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and World Antibiotic Awareness Week to unveil a new educational campaign called Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care. The CDC says at least 2 million Americans become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually—with at least 23,000 dying as a result. With over 160 million patient visits every year, according to the Urgent Care Association of America, urgent care centers are well positioned to take a leadership role inRead More
It’s a strange phenomenon, but there are data to back it up: The emergency room at St. Charles Bend in Bend, OR is getting more traffic—it’s just not necessarily treating more patients. Nearly 5% of the people who check in to the ED leave without being seen (LWBS) because the wait is simply too long. That’s nearly three times the national average. The Bulletin newspaper in Bend noted that LWBS was the most common diagnosis code applied to patient visits. While that presents headaches for those tasked with keeping records,Read More
Patients visit urgent care centers because they’re convenient places to get quality care, and often at a time when the primary care office is closed. Those advantages—and the goodwill they engender—go out the window when patients waste a trip only to find your doors locked and the lights out, however. With Thanksgiving next week, make sure you’ve done everything you can to make the public aware of when you will and will not be open. Use signage in the waiting room, outside on windows and doors so passersby can seeRead More
The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) is getting with the times and adding opioid screens to its drug testing program. Specifically, providers who conduct physicals and assessments for the DOT will have to include hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone in their screens as of January 1, 2018.  In addition, methylenedioxyamphetamine has been added as an initial test analyte, and methylenedioxyethylamphetamine has been removed as a confirmatory test analyte. Adding the four semisynthetic opioids has been mandated by Federal statute, and applies not only to specimen testing validity values but alsoRead More
An 18-year-old female presents to your urgent care center complaining of sudden-onset, sharp chest pain. She denies any trauma. View the image taken and consider your next steps, along with possible diagnoses.Read More
An urgent care center in Florida is being forced to shut down, not because it couldn’t draw enough patients or provided bad care, but because of a highly charged disagreement over the nature of its start-up funds. Here’s what everyone agrees on: A Florida woman provided substantial funds to help a new urgent care center get going 2 years ago. After that, it gets harder to separate fact from fiction in the case of a business deal gone sour. The urgent care center owner claims the funds were a giftRead More