News Category

The timing couldn’t be better for urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine services, as a new government report challenges various stakeholders to establish more robust health surveillance practices in the workplace. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Center, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, calls for greater coordination among federal agencies and the states, as well as the creation of regional occupational safety and health surveillance programs “to provide critical information about the relationships between work and injuriesRead More

Posted On January 24, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

Epic Comes Under Fire for Possible Anticompetitive Practices

It’s common for competitors to question each other’s practices as they fight for every percentage point of market share—less so for potential customers to accuse companies of being “one of the biggest impediments to innovation in healthcare.” That’s what happened recently in the EMR marketplace, though, as Fairview Health Services CEO James Hereford leveled that very charge at Epic, the EMR provider, according to an article in the St. Paul Business Journal. Epic has been accused of being overly protective of data that could be helpful to the broader healthcareRead More
Fake news has been lamented, scorned, or poked fun at for various reasons and from various political perspectives for the past year, but right now a fake news story circulating on social media could put lives in danger. First appearing on Facebook, the “article” falsely claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that influenza vaccine has been responsible for many deaths attributed to flu this year. The myth-busting website Snopes debunked the post soon after it first appeared—but that hasn’t stopped it from circulating. Urgent care providersRead More

Posted On January 22, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

New Approaches to Opioid Abuse Zero in on Physicians

As researchers and legislators in some states consider restrictions on physicians to write prescriptions for opioid pain medications, new research indicates there could be a way to continue prescribing safely—albeit a way that is likely to raise some eyebrows. First, in Indiana, the state hospital association, medical association, and health department have pooled their resources to create guidelines for physicians in the state. In a nutshell, they’re advising physicians to cut back on prescribing opioids for patients with acute pain by employing a stepwise approach to pain management that includesRead 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
Connecticut is the latest state to decide that healthcare providers can be sued for breaches of patient confidentiality under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Connecticut Supreme Court set the precedent when it decided that one patient’s breach of confidentiality and negligence claims against a provider could move forward. In essence, the decision paves the way for patients to use HIPAA as a standard of care and to sue providers for unauthorized disclosure of medical records. Previously (and still, in many states), there has beenRead More
Influenza tends to get all the headlines at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only seasonal complaint patients are likely to present with at urgent care centers. Frigid temperatures and icy roadways and sidewalks are sending many patients to healthcare providers in multiple settings. Local newspapers in the Davenport, IA area recently noted that nearly 300 people were treated for falls and other weather-related hazards over the space of a couple of weeks—more than 150 at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, alone. Diagnoses included concussions andRead More
The growing geriatric population in the U.S. and increasing demand for convenient and cost-effective care worldwide will be key in the continued growth of the global urgent care market—pushing its overall value to $30.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Market Research Reports Search Engine (MRRSE). Urgent Care Centers Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2017–2020 cautions that the physician shortage being experienced in multiple practice settings, including urgent care, could slow growth somewhat. It predicts that North America will continue toRead More
Pardee UNC Health Care in North Carolina and WVU Medicine in West Virginia are among the hospitals and systems advising area residents to make full use of local urgent care centers as flu cases mount, slamming emergency rooms with more visitors than they can handle efficiently. Pardee is pleading with area residents who have flu-like symptoms—or any non–life-threatening complaint—to stay away from the ED and instead visit one of its urgent care facilities. In getting the word out through local media, they also gave prospective patients the operating hours ofRead More

Posted On January 12, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Clinical

FDA Orders Label Changes for Opioid Cough and Cold Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will order changes to labeling information for opioid cough and cold medications to limit their use to adults aged 18 years and older. It will also require that new safety information be added to highlight the risk for addiction, abuse, overdose, and other dangerous potential side effects for all patients. Codeine-containing products like Tuxarin ER and Tuzistra ER, as well as products that contain hydrocodone (eg, Flowtuss, Rezira) will no longer be indicated for use in any pediatric population. The FDA says it’s takingRead More