Industry Category

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
Just a week ago, we shared data from TMR Research indicating that the urgent care industry would continue its upward trajectory for years to come. Now another report, this one from Market Research Reports Search Engine (MRRSE), offers even more data corroborating those findings.  Urgent Care Centers Market—Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014–2020 analyzes the potential for growth in specific aspects of the urgent care industry, such as illness, injury, physical, vaccination, diagnostic, and screening in specific regions (ie, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest ofRead More
Las Vegas is the latest municipality to recognize that not all 911 calls require response with a fully equipped ambulance and EMS crew. As part of a new pilot program by the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Department, 911 operators are being trained to identify which calls really do require a full emergency response, and which could be transferred to a specially trained nurse who can guide the patient to the right level of care—including urgent care. Patients who need to be seen right away but can’t get to aRead More
Urgent care centers in hurricane-affected areas have probably gotten into the habit of looking for sudden respiratory ailments and signs of illness related to consumption of tainted water or food. However, the vast numbers of relief workers and volunteers who flocked to help residents affected by the recent storms are now returning home, where providers may not have such issues at the top of their minds. Recognizing that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an advisory to remind clinicians to ask patients with certain symptoms whether they’veRead More
Despite efforts to teach patients when they really need to go to the emergency room vs the urgent care center or other settings, TennCare reports that its members have continued to head straight to the ED for relatively minor complaints—to the tune of $87.9 million in fiscal year 2017. That’s an increase of $3 million over the previous year. Claims data released by the state show too many use the less convenient, costlier ED for nonemergencies. TennCare’s chief medical officer, Victor Wu, MD, MPH says this is a long-term problemRead More
As we’ve reported here, the evolving habits of patients who seek immediate, cost-efficient, quality care is forcing hospitals and health systems to reconsider their own approaches to patient engagement. Such is reconfirmed in a Wall Street Journal article that observes “as patients increasingly seek cheaper and more convenient care, some of the largest U.S. hospital operators are investing in surgery centers, emergency rooms, and urgent care clinics.” The article cites Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dignity Health, and HCA Healthcare, Inc. as just a few that “are investing heavily in surgery centers,Read 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
Colorado’s UCHealth had some idea what it was getting into when it launched its urgent care telehealth program last year—but as with all new ventures, things unforeseen and unimagined have provided ample opportunity to learn. Now the company is sharing some of those lessons in the form of 7 Riddles to Solve When Launching a Telehealth Urgent Care Service in an online article from mHealth Intelligence. The company acknowledges they’re not making money on telehealth at this point, but says the venture is a success in that they’ve made aRead More
The Texas Medical Board has laid down new rules governing how telemedicine providers can treat patients in the state. Gone are stipulations that a provider must see a patient face-to-face before being able to treat them remotely. The Board’s decision on that point is in concert with a new state law passed in May. The medical board’s decision could pave the way for around 28 million Texans to gain access to virtual care, including 3 million who live in rural areas and who have been most affected by lack ofRead More
U.S. emergency rooms saw more patients than ever in 2014, but that doesn’t necessarily mean urgent care isn’t getting its message out. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that over 141 million people ran to the ED that year (compared with 130 million the previous year), but some top reasons tended to be complaints for which it would not be appropriate to visit an urgent care center—chest pain chief among them. In addition, mental health problems and opiate overdoses reporting to the ED are onRead More