On paper, flu season starts next month, meaning it’s an ideal time to start reminding patients they’ll need flu shots (and that you’ll be happy to provide one). While the majority of children tend to get their shots toward the end of the season according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the distribution has been more evenly distributed for adults over the past few flu seasons, as seen in Figure 1, below.

The benefits of administering flu shots in your urgent care center are twofold: 1) additional revenue and 2) more patients who may become return customers. Of course, patients who don’t get shot and end up getting the flu may also return as customers.

Even though many national insurers pay a case rate to urgent care, and patients may be able to pay less in a retail setting, 65% of children and 37% of adults who got flu shots did so in a physician’s office in the 2016–2017 season, according to the CDC—more than in any other setting for each (Figure 2). It’s noteworthy (especially to urgent care operators who offer, or are considering offering occupational medicine services) that 18% of adults got their flu shots in the workplace.

For more background on the dynamics of providing flu shots in the urgent care setting, see The Great Flu Shot Conundrum in the JUCM archives.

Come October, Come the Flu
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