News Category

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
Much like concerns that the Y2K crossover would wreak havoc on civilization as we know it, the transition to ICD-10 codes has been far less disruptive than was feared by many. A new survey by KPMG shows that 79 percent of organizations have made the transition without any major hiccups, with 28 percent calling it “smooth” and 51 percent reporting “a few technical issues, but overall successful.” Just 11 percent called their transition experience a “failure.” The fact that the vast majority have had a positive experience may be theRead More
Local business owners should be made aware that occupational medicine providers may be able to prevent more than the flu this season. With more than 11 million workdays—and $7 billion—lost annually to the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy employees mean a healthy bottom line in very real terms. Small businesses, especially those engaged in manufacturing where having a worker down with the flu could significantly diminish production for days (or weeks), could be especially willing partners in flu shot clinics and in-house programs builtRead More
The end of 2015 means the end of a 10 percent bonus paid to primary care physicians who care for Medicare patients. Depending on how they react, some practices could see more patients turn to urgent care for acute complaints. Essentially, primary care practices will have three options once their bonus disappears: eat the revenue loss, take in more patients to make up for it, or charge patients more. The bonus program was initiated in 2011 to address disparities in the reimbursements Medicare paid to PCPs vs those it paidRead More
Citation: Bacharier LB, Guilbert TW, Maugeret DT, al. Early administration of azithromycin and prevention of severe lower respiratory tract illnesses in preschool children with a history of such illnesses. JAMA. 2015;314:2034-2044. Reviewed by: Michael B. Weinstock, MD Background/question: The authors wanted to know if antibiotics administered early in the course of a respiratory tract infection (RTI) in children with recurrent, severe RTIs decreased progression of disease. Study: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at nine academic medical centers in the US between 2011 and 2014 examining 607 children betweenRead More

Posted On November 25, 2015By JUCMIn Business

WellSpan, MedExpress Strike Micro Partnership

WellSpan Health continues to broaden its reach into urgent care, this time striking a partnership with MedExpress—somewhat unusual in that it involves just a single clinic and reflects no change in ownership for either company. WellSpan has been slowly buying up healthcare properties in the area, having acquired Good Samaritan Health System in Lebanon, PA and brought a local orthopedic practice into its fold earlier this year. WellSpan Health is a large integrated healthcare system in south-central Pennsylvania. MedExpress, headquartered in Morgantown, WV was purchased by OPTUM (part of UnitedHealthcare)Read More
A new study concludes that the healthcare marketplace is dictating a major renovation of primary care—and urgent care is both one of the causes and a potential beneficiary of the dramatic changes in the landscape. The report from PwC Health Industries’ Health Research Institute says rising costs and increased demand for primary care practitioners are forcing stakeholders to rethink their business models to unlock value. Simon Samaha, MD of PwC says the solution lies in “nontraditional players” who are going to “shake up the industry using new technologies and innovativeRead More

Posted On November 25, 2015By JUCMIn Clinical, News

Early Flu Deaths May Stoke Vaccinations

As reports of deaths due to seasonal flu start to trickle in—eg, Iowa and California just announced their first flu-related fatalities of the season—patients on the fence about getting vaccinated may be moved to head to the urgent care center for a shot. Not coincidentally, some clinics are already expanding their hours to meet what is expected to be increased demand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention views the flu “season” as lasting from October through May, but it reaches its peak between December and February. So far, theRead More
URGENT MESSAGE: Urgent care centers are subject to myriad oversight by individual states, accrediting bodies, Medicare/Medicaid, and private insurance companies. Still, the patchwork nature of state regulatory and legislative trends impacting urgent care in 2015 raises questions—and expectations—for what might be coming next year. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, a member of the Board of Directors of the Urgent Care Association of America, and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC. Urgent care may no longer beRead More

Posted On November 20, 2015By JUCMIn News

Spend on Equipment Now, Save on Taxes Later

Tax day is still five months away, but urgent care operators might be able to reduce their burden by ordering necessary equipment and supplies before saying good-bye to 2015. Seeing as how we don’t know what changes Congress might make to the tax code next year and vendors often raise prices with the new year, this could be an especially opportune time to take a look around and decide where it makes sense to trade up or invest in new goods and services. Rules can vary state by state, soRead More