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The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission tells us we can expect a spike in emergency room visits on or around the Independence Day holiday next week. If you’ve done a good job of alerting your community to the fact that many ED-bound patients could be treated just as well (not to mention faster and less expensively) in your urgent care center, that means you can expect to see more traffic, too. Make sure your holiday hours are posted prominently inside and outside your location, as well as on your website,Read 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
Ohio is placing new limits on the prescribing of opioid medications for acute pain, forbidding clinicians from writing more than a 7-day supply for adults, or a 5-day supply for minors (down from up to 90 days, currently). Prescribers will be allowed to override the acute pain limit if they identify a specific reason in their patients’ medical records, though this is not likely to apply in the urgent care setting. Further, the limits do not apply to prescriptions for chronic pain such as experienced by patients with cancer. RepresentativeRead More
Seven health systems—including more than one with a stake in the urgent care marketplace—are among the World’s Most Ethical Companies, according to a new listing from the Ethisphere Institute. Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Baptist Health South Florida, Cleveland Clinic, Covenant Health, Northwell Health, Sharp HealthCare, and University Hospitals were all recognized for their ethics and compliance programs; corporate citizenship and responsibility; creating a culture of ethics; governance; and their leadership, innovation, and reputation. More than just committed to doing business ethically, each of the honorees have responded to aRead More
Spring has officially arrived, and with the snow continuing to melt it won’t be long before seasonal allergens are in full bloom. Urgent care physicians are reminded, however, that symptoms of allergic reactions to pollen and ragweed can be identical to those seen in patients who are allergic to cannabis, ranging from mild sinusitis to acute exacerbations of asthma. Since allergy panels don’t typically test for reaction to marijuana, the only way to get a clear picture of what’s causing the patient’s symptoms is to do a thorough history, evenRead More
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on clinicians and drug makers to help fight a worldwide surge in antibiotic-resistant organisms, some of which could be just as prevalent and as dangerous as Zika and Ebola. The rate of their emergence has picked up in recent years, thanks in part to inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics. As such, the WHO has echoed the pleadings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for clinicians to follow antibiotic guidelines when prescribing antibiotics (eg, starting with broader-spectrum agents first), and toRead More
New data suggest that efforts to educate patients on when it’s appropriate to go to an urgent care center vs the emergency room need to continue, if not increase. Basically, the survey from CityMD shows too many are not selecting the appropriate setting for immediate care. More than 2,000 Americans 18 and older were asked which setting would be most appropriate for immediate care in eight separate scenarios, from having a child with a 104⁰ temperature accompanied by coughing and shivering, to a deep laceration (among others). Respondents who incorrectlyRead More
Urgent care is a good fit for evolving healthcare marketplaces, ensuring continuing growth for years to come—from $23.5 billion in 2013 to a projected $30.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research (TMR). We’ve told you here that urgent care has been shown to be a popular model for people in the millennial generation (often defined as those born between the mid-1980s and early 2000s), but TMR points out that the swelling ranks of senior citizens also favors this industry. Cost-effective and convenient care areRead More
The Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) has petitioned Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, MD to delay implementation of Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program, as well as “Stage 3-like” measures in the MIPS program, indefinitely. UCAOA joined with 15 other organizations in crafting a letter that also requested that eligible clinicians not be required to move to EHR technology certified to the 2015 edition. Release of proposed requirements for MIPS and APMs for the 2018 performance year is expected before June.Read More
While previous attempts have crashed and burned, proposed new legislation could move California one step closer to a single-payer healthcare system. Proponents in the state senate say it is the “intent of the Legislature” to enact such a law “for the benefit of everyone in the state.” However, specific details and a prospective timetable have not been revealed. If it does pass and ultimately get signed into law, the measure would replace private insurance in California with a government plan that pays for coverage for the entire populace. The purportedRead More