Industry Category

Lines-Between-Market -Segments
It’s too late to be truly unprecedented, but Cigna’s announcement that it plans to buy Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the U.S., signals that lines between “traditional” segments of the healthcare industry will continue to be breached for the foreseeable future. Once the deal is done, the combined company will reside in Cigna’s Connecticut headquarters, headed by Cigna CEO David Cordani. The Express Scripts unit will still be based in St. Louis and continue to be run by current Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth, who willRead More
Vermont is looking at changing how it classifies urgent care centers, with an eye toward forcing operators to file a certificate of need (CON) before starting construction projects. Right now, independent Vermont urgent care centers are viewed as physician offices, which are exempt from filing a CON. The state’s Office of the Health Care Advocate says it would be more correct to view them as “medical facilities,” which would trigger the need for them to apply for CONs, as hospitals already do. Rep. Bill Lippert, who supports the bill, claimsRead More
Serious young businessman in eyewear checks paper documentation, sits at working desk, going to have conversation with colleagues. Concentrated bearded student edits coursework. Paper work concept

Posted On March 2, 2018By Brandon NapolitanoIn Industry, News

Apple Plans to Open Onsite Employee Health Clinics

Perhaps inspired by plans other major employers have to launch their own healthcare entities for employees, Apple will roll out onsite health clinics for its workers this spring as it scales back dependence on outside providers. Rather than making a formal announcement, however, Apple launched a new website for AC Wellness—recognizing correctly that business media would take notice. The site describes AC Wellness as “an independent medical practice dedicated to delivering compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population.” The company says the primary care group will operate independently asRead More
Woman using mobile phone

Posted On March 2, 2018By Brandon NapolitanoIn Industry, News

Uber Wants to Drive Your Patients to Your Office

Recognizing what’s already going on around the country, Uber is putting a name on its efforts to be the provider of choice when patients need to see a doctor but can’t get there under their own steam. The minor twist Uber Health offers is that it is designed to encourage providers to arrange transportation for their incoming patients. While that may appear to favor traditional primary care practices, urgent care operators should consider that ready availability of transportation may encourage more patients to return to your office for follow-up, makeRead More
A new study by Solutionreach reveals that healthcare consumers find three things most important in improving the doctor-patient relationship—and in helping them choose who to visit when they need care. Perhaps as importantly, in terms of helping urgent care providers recognize differences in how patients of various ages view healthcare, the report breaks down responses into the categories of Millennials (ages 21–34 for purposes of this study), Generation Xers (35–51 years old), and Baby Boomers (52–70). Overall, the 2,100 respondents (all of whom had visited a physician in the pastRead More
With the opening of its new 24/7 Center for Connected Care, Penn Medicine now operates one of the larges telehealth hubs in the U.S. In addition to virtual urgent care services, the system houses Penn Medicine’s 15-year-old e-ICU, and a service that focuses on patients with chronic illness. It has 50 full-time employees. The move reflects growing use of virtual care across the country, as confirmed by data from Sage Growth Partners revealing that 56% of healthcare executives have already implemented telehealth services, and that 86% of those who haveRead More

Posted On February 13, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Industry, News

Research Report: Consumer-Centric Healthcare Favors Urgent Care

A trend toward high-deductible health plans and new technologies that ease access are pushing consumers to demand more from healthcare encounters, according to a new research report from CBInsights. This is evidenced by the growing popularity of “wearable” health-tracking devices and telemedicine services, but also in the number of patients who continue to flock to urgent care centers, according to the report. That, in turn, makes the industry attractive to private-equity investors, who “see opportunities in streamlining operations, bundling different clinic chains, and standardizing processes and tools.” The report pointsRead More

Posted On February 9, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Industry, News

UCAOA White Paper Reveals Trends in Urgent Care

A newly published report from the Urgent Care Association of America reveals just how far the industry has come from its “doc in a box” days, to the point that it’s now a key element of the healthcare continuum. In fact, urgent care centers account for 18.2% of all primary care visits and 9.7% of outpatients visits overall in the U.S. The Essential Role of the Urgent Care Center in Population Health also offers new data indicating the industry will continue to innovate for the foreseeable future. UCAOA head LaurelRead More

Posted On January 30, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Industry

Mercy Stresses the Urgent Care Option as ED Volume Swells

Like many facilities across the country, Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith, AR wrestles with overcrowding in the emergency room, especially during flu season. In addition to higher patient volume, resources are further stretched due to staff calling in sick in greater numbers. The administration is dealing with the crisis by employing all available resources, including making the most of the flexibility of the urgent care model. Mercy has dedicated one location specifically to patients presenting with flu-like symptoms; this not only allows them to be seen faster, but also keepsRead More

Posted On January 22, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Industry

FDA Recommends Scaling Down X-rays for Children

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a new guidance suggesting there should be something of a kids’ menu for imaging, one that employs the lowest dose of radiation possible when imaging younger patients (or avoids x-rays altogether, if feasible). “Pediatric patients generally require less radiation than adults to obtain a quality image from an x-ray exam, so doctors must take extra care to ‘child size’ the radiation dose,” the FDA said in a statement. The guidance also urges providers in all settings to consider whether there is truly aRead More