In The News Category

Hospitals in parts of Florida that were hit hard by Hurricane Irma are open for business and fully staffed, but they’ve got so many patients coming in with hurricane-related injuries and illness that the EDs are overflowing. Some of them have put out the word that urgent care would be a better place to go right now for nonemergent complaints, pointing out that they will be treated more quickly while also easing the burden at the hospital. Health First in several cities, Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, and Wuesthoff hospitalsRead More
Now that the U.S. has been battered by two hurricanes in quick succession from Texas to the Southeast, the urgent care community seems to have doubled its efforts to provide relief to those affected. In addition to efforts aimed at helping victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, East Coast urgent care operators are doing what they can for those caught in the path of Hurricane Irma. Florida Hospital announced it’s offering free video visits “until the storm subsides” through its eCare Urgent Care service to help those who need careRead More
The number of marijuana-related visits to the emergency room and urgent care center at Children’s Hospital Colorado has more than quadrupled since Colorado legalized recreational use, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reviewed ED and urgent care records for 13- to 21-year-olds, looking for visits where the patient either had a diagnostic code related to marijuana use or a positive urine screen; that number rose from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014. The results seem slightly at odds with national dataRead More
Minnesota has seen a huge uptick in measles cases lately, coinciding statistically with a drop in immunization rates in the state. In addition to the antivaccine movement going on all over the country, Minnesota has a subgroup of activists who are also anti-immigration that has tried to convince Somali immigrants that vaccines are dangerous as a way to dissuade more Somalis from moving in. The first measles cases cropped up a month ago, and public health officials say it took just weeks to reach “outbreak” proportions. MMR vaccination rates amongRead More
Brooklyn (NY) Borough President Eric Adams has a message for basketball fans, concert goers, and cinephiles in his native environs: Stay out of the emergency room unless you absolutely have to be there; the urgent care center is often a much better, faster, and less costly option. Adams is so keen on that message that he recorded a series of public service announcements that play in the Barclays Center arena and high-end movie theaters in Brooklyn, among other locales. In one of the videos, which features a split-screen image ofRead More
A new ruling from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) standardizes the responsibility of state Medicaid agencies when it comes to telemedicine, aiming to ensure that “proper access to particular healthcare services can be ensured.” Those assessments would include the needs of patients, as well as time, distance and access afforded by telemedicine. Each state will be responsibility for policing itself by evaluating performance of those services every three years. Once the rule takes effect, patients will also be able to use telemedicine services across state lines. OnRead More

Posted On December 4, 2015By JUCMIn In The News, News

Dark Days for the Affordable Care Act

The United States Senate is the latest—and certainly the most prestigious—body to recommend pulling the plug on the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). The Senate followed the lead of the House of Representatives by passing a new bill on December 3 that essentially repeals ACA. Passage of the new bill may be a moot point, as President Obama is likely to veto it. Once heralded by proponents as the salvation of uninsured Americans, ACA has been plagued by spiraling costs on all sides. While public health spendingRead More
The arrest of a physician assistant on federal drug charges is a reminder that urgent care operators need to be vigilant for illegal prescribing practices or face the consequences. The PA, himself the operator of a pair of urgent care centers in Riverhead, NY, has been charged with conspiring to distribute oxycodone illegally. The US Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and local, county, and state law enforcement allege the PA issued prescriptions for thousands of pills over a four-year period for the purpose of reselling them for cash. Authorities sayRead More