News Category

A physician assistant’s suspicions and subsequent law enforcement investigations have led to the president of an urgent care center in south Florida being formally charged with posing as a physician and possession of a blank prescription form. In fact, the Med-Clinic in Doral, FL was not licensed by the state to serve as any kind of medical facility. Regardless, it employed “real” clinicians and promoted its capabilities to treat broken bones and infections…all the services that have become the hallmark of legitimate urgent care operations. The fraud started to unravelRead More
In addition to reminding clinicians that all patients 6 months of age and older should receive flu shots by the end of this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to get the word out that children between 6 months and 8 years of age should receive their vaccinations twice, approximately 28 days apart. Like last year, the CDC also recommends against using the nasal pump spray because it’s been deemed inefficient in delivering the vaccine.Read More
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now allows any state-licensed physician to perform medical exams for the half a million private and recreational pilots flying certain small noncommercial aircraft in the U.S., as long as they follow a simple FAA checklist. So far, more than 20,000 pilots have been qualified to fly under the program, called BasicMed. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is actively promoting the program to its members and to medical associations in order to provide pilots with content and resources (and, presumably, to prevent any backlog ofRead More

Posted On October 17, 2017By JUCMIn Clinical

West Nile Virus is Back with a Vengeance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has served notice that 47 states and the District of Columbia have confirmed cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in people, birds, or mosquitoes this year. All told, there have been 1,295 cases among humans. California has seen the most—258 cases, with 47 popping up in a single week this month, including 12 fatalities. Texas is second in the country, with 105 cases, but has a higher number of fatalities (18). Only about 1 in 150 people who are infected with WNV developRead More

Posted On October 13, 2017By JUCMIn Legal

Social Media Claims Can Be Fodder for Litigation

Walgreens, which has established a presence in the retail clinic market by outsourcing most such operations in its stores to third parties, is upping the ante on direct patient care with plans to open higher-acuity walk-in clinics in Las Vegas this year. More on the order of an urgent care center, including the capability to provide x-rays and offer stitches, the four locations will be operated by MedExpress and connected to existing Walgreens drugstores, but have separate entrances. Urgent care insiders have questioned whether there is adequate room in existingRead More

Posted On October 13, 2017By JUCMIn Marketplace

Five Star Will More Than Double in Size

Five Star Urgent Care, which currently operates 17 urgent care locations, is opening 18 more in New York and Ohio after already converting an existing primary practice to an urgent care center. The company is ironing out leases for the rest, and expects to complete the growth spurt by late 2018. The company has found the areas in which the new centers will be located to be underserved by healthcare providers in general. The move comes a year after equity investor partners bought the company, and is expected to costRead More
We told you in August about a hepatitis A outbreak that killed eight people in San Diego County, CA. The worse news is that hep A continues to spread throughout California—and could continue to do so for years to come, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. At least 569 people have been infected, including 17 who have died, since last November in San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles counties. They’re among many counties to start offering vaccines to the homeless, the population considered most at riskRead More
As telehealth continues to take root as a viable way to administer care, especially for patients in rural areas, a few subsegments are seeing sharper growth than others. Codes for specialty telehealth (which includes inpatient and outpatient care, ED visits, and postacute care consults) for Medicare beneficiaries were applied 191,000 times in 2015, according to new data from Advisory Board. In addition, the volume of telebehavioral health services provided grew 16-fold between 2012 and 2013, owing to a shortage of behavioral health workers and how well mental health care meshesRead More
UnitedHealthcare Commercial in New Jersey and UnitedHealthcare Oxford of New Jersey will stop reimbursement of HCPC code S9083 as of January 1, 2018, according to a letter sent to providers. Instead, the plans are advising providers to “only report the evaluation and management and/or procedure code(s) that specifically describe the service(s) performed.”  S9083, they say, is “informational” and relates to a type of reimbursement rather than a specific service. Charges billed for S9083 will be denied once the policy takes effect. They will continue to reimburse providers for all servicesRead More
An urgent care center in Atascadero, CA has been robbed of hundreds of Norco (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) capsules, with a market value of more than $10,000—and the prime suspect is a former employee, according to police there. The drugs disappeared over a 2-year period, with the perpetrator altering patient records so it appeared the center needed greater quantities than were ultimately stocked. No arrests have been made, to date, but local police are working with the federal DEA on a case they expect will result in felony charges of embezzlementRead More