Some national provider organizations have, at times, been downright vehement in opposing the growth of urgent care. The common “complaint” seems to be that allowing patients to receive care without an appointment threatens the well-founded idea of the medical home. On the other hand—as industry insiders and patients know—urgent care provides necessary care at the time it’s needed most. If you want to build up relationships with local providers instead of defensively fending off misperceptions, take a tip from GoHealth CEO Todd Latz, who reasons that urgent care should be viewed as a complement to primary care rather than a rival. Speaking at Crain’s Disruptions at the Doctor’s Office healthcare summit, Latz assured that urgent care has “driven more people back into primary care than we’ve taken from it.” It’s GoHealth’s practice to ask patients if they have a primary care doctor—and if patients say they don’t, GoHealth offers to help them find one. While he admitted patients in the millennial age range are not interested in that, typically, planting the seed can surely reinforce the need for establishing an ongoing relationship with a physician practice. (Note: Todd Latz shared insights into how urgent care can coexist peacefully—and profitably—with other clinical settings in the June 2016 issue of JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. You can read Joint Ventures Between Health Systems and Urgent Care: Achieving the Best of Both Worlds here.)

Make Allies, Not Rivals, of Other Healthcare Providers
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