New Data Support Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

New Data Support Effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

A small double-blind, placebo-controlled study in China has shown there may be promise in the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19. The researchers randomized 62 people with early COVID-19 infection into two groups. The control group received placebo, and the treatment group received 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) twice daily for 5 days. Time to clinical recovery (TTCR), clinical characteristics, and radiological results were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study …

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Free Experity Webinar: Are You Coding Optimally for COVID-19 Services?

Free Experity Webinar: Are You Coding Optimally for COVID-19 Services?

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing public health officials, hospital administrators, the general public, and certainly healthcare providers to limits unseen in this lifetime. As always, though, it’s essential to correctly code for services provided in order to ensure urgent care centers are paid for the care they provide. Fail to do that, especially in the midst of economic chaos, and your business will suffer. Experity will host a webinar designed to help you on Thursday, …

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It’s a Good Time to Take Another Look at the Price of ‘Convenience’ in Freestanding EDs

It’s a Good Time to Take Another Look at the Price of ‘Convenience’ in Freestanding EDs

Hospitals in some U.S. cities are getting slammed with COVID-19 patients, leaving some patients to consider what their best option might be when they need immediate care. Many know urgent care is the best bet. Before the term COVID-19 even existed, however, operators of freestanding emergency rooms touted their own ability to see patients with a broad array of injuries and illnesses faster than would be likely in conventional emergency rooms. It’s a claim that …

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UCA, CUCM, and ACEP Partner on Risk Stratification Guide for Known/Suspected COVID-19

UCA, CUCM, and ACEP Partner on Risk Stratification Guide for Known/Suspected COVID-19

The Urgent Care Association has teamed up with the College of Urgent Care Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians to issue a one-page risk stratification guide that suggests best practices when dealing with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. The complete guide, which separates patients into Risk Category I (consider discharge and home monitoring) or Risk Category II (consider transfer to ED) is available here.

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CMS: Urgent Care Centers Are OK as Destinations for Ambulance Transport During Pandemic

CMS: Urgent Care Centers Are OK as Destinations for Ambulance Transport During Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has broadened the array of acceptable destinations for ambulance transport—with urgent care centers prominent among those destinations. If transport to a hospital emergency room is not medically appropriate because of conditions at that hospital, for example, ambulances can bring patients to an urgent care center, community mental health center, federally qualified health center, physician’s office, ambulatory surgery center, or any location providing …

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Is Pain the Fifth Vital Sign? Higher Triage Patient-Reported Pain Score Does Not Predict Increased Admission or Transfer Rates

Is Pain the Fifth Vital Sign? Higher Triage Patient-Reported Pain Score Does Not Predict Increased Admission or Transfer Rates

Urgent message: Efforts to have pain declared a “fifth vital” sign began nearly 25 years ago. Since then, several national accrediting and governmental agencies have taken up the cause of viewing pain as a distinct problem to be addressed as such. However, few data relevant to emergency and urgent care presentations exist.    Mark Pruitt, DO, Ya Wen, DO, Michael Pallaci, DO, and Godwin Dogbey, PhD INTRODUCTION Traditionally, there have been four vital signs: temperature, …

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Pandemic Update: Salivary Viral Load Peaks in the First Week After Symptom Onset

Pandemic Update: Salivary Viral Load Peaks in the First Week After Symptom Onset

Studies of COVID-19 from around the world are just starting to bear fruit. One, just published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, reveals that the salivary viral load of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is highest in the first week after symptom onset. While viral RNA was detected 25 days after symptoms onset in one patient, serum samples from 16 patients were negative at 14 days. Serial viral load was ascertained through reverse transcriptase …

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If Patients Can Test Themselves for COVID-19, Risk of Transmission Should Decrease

If Patients Can Test Themselves for COVID-19, Risk of Transmission Should Decrease

Some urgent care operators are employing telemedicine to help identify patients who need to be tested or who need treatment for COVID-19 vs those who don’t—the idea being to keep people at home and out of healthcare facilities for as long as possible, if they need to go anywhere at all. ZOOM+Care is going one step further toward that goal by piloting a saliva-based, self-sample test that patients can do for themselves at home. The …

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Bill Could Provide Some Urgent Care Operators with Loans to Reduce Impact of Pandemic

Bill Could Provide Some Urgent Care Operators with Loans to Reduce Impact of Pandemic

Some urgent care operators are seeing patient visits—and associated revenue—dwindle as people heed advice to stay home, where they’re less inclined to get sick or injured. As this period of self-isolation continues, they may be forced to consider cutting back on staff—or worse. However, U.S. Senate Bill 3548, also known as the CARES Act, would provide bridge loans to companies with fewer than 500 employees. The bill is expected to be passed by the House …

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Providers Are Under a Lot of Stress Right Now, if You Haven’t Noticed; These Tips Might Help

Providers Are Under a Lot of Stress Right Now, if You Haven’t Noticed; These Tips Might Help

Whether due to longer shifts and potentially sicker patients, concern over their own and their families’ health, or angst over how best to help at a time of such great need, urgent care providers are experiencing more stress than ever. Recognizing this, Medical Economics posted a list of seven ways healthcare providers can practice mental health self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mental Health Survival Guide During COVID-19 starts by reminding the clinician that feeling …

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