More Ambulances May Be Rolling Up to Urgent Care, Thanks to the Department of Health

More Ambulances May Be Rolling Up to Urgent Care, Thanks to the Department of Health

Picture a Medicare patient who needs to see a provider today. It’s not an emergency, but they can’t wait until next Monday, when their primary care doc can squeeze them in. The solution is easy: urgent care, right? The only wrinkle is, they don’t drive anymore. So, they call an ambulance whose only option is to deliver them to the ED even thought their complaint is nonemergent. They wait for hours as the cost mounts. …

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More Data Show Younger Patients Are Drawn to Urgent Care over ‘Traditional’ Healthcare

More Data Show Younger Patients Are Drawn to Urgent Care over ‘Traditional’ Healthcare

Millennials and “Gen Zers” are more likely than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to shun traditional primary care offices in favor of urgent care and other walk-in options, according to a newly released report from Accenture. Lack of convenience and responsiveness are among top reasons cited. It’s not just an American phenomenon, either; the nearly 8,000 consumers who took part in the research chimed in not only from the U.S. but also from Australia, England, …

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When Even the Low Coast of Urgent Care is Too Much for Some Patients

When Even the Low Coast of Urgent Care is Too Much for Some Patients

One of the key attributes of urgent care is that the cost is lower than patients would face in the emergency room—which is a benefit not only for them, but for their insurers. Even so, the cost may be too high for some lower income patients, especially those who don’t have insurance or can come up with the copay. You may have a better option than either turning them away or eating the cost, however. …

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New Regs Would Make It Easier for Patient to Access Their Own Health Information

New Regs Would Make It Easier for Patient to Access Their Own Health Information

Sometimes it may seem to patients like it would take an act of Congress for them to obtain their own health records. They might literally get that if new rules proposed by federal health regulators are adopted. Among the issues the draft covers are technology standards meant to unlock digital data in EHRs. One part of the proposal, for example, would empower patients to access all their health information electronically—including the provider’s notes, hospital records, …

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UCA Webinar: Keep Your Urgent Care Center on the Right Side of HIPAA Requirements

UCA Webinar: Keep Your Urgent Care Center on the Right Side of HIPAA Requirements

HIPAA is as complex as it is necessary, especially with the threat of data breaches lurking around every virtual corner. Failure to safeguard HIPAA-protected information is a threat to your patients and to your entire operation. As such, an informed perspective on compliance is the best safeguard from violations. The Urgent Care Association is hosting a live webinar designed to help you ensure just that. HIPAA: What to Know About Privacy & Security is scheduled …

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Flu Update: Warnings from Experts, a Nod to Urgent Care, and More Evidence that Immunization Works

Flu Update: Warnings from Experts, a Nod to Urgent Care, and More Evidence that Immunization Works

As the 2018–19 influenza season peaks in the United States, public health officials and academic experts are pleading with patients to stay away from the emergency room if they have flu symptoms—and instead head to their nearest urgent care center. The Rhode Island Department of Health, for one, issued a statement singling out urgent care as the ideal setting for flu testing and treatment, to avoid both long waits and high costs in the ED …

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Nurse Practitioner Pool Continues to Explode; How Many Are Headed for Urgent Care?

Nurse Practitioner Pool Continues to Explode; How Many Are Headed for Urgent Care?

There are roughly 22,000 more nurse practitioners in the United States than there were a year ago—and new data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners indicate the number will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, further suggesting there could be massive growth opportunities in urgent care. Right now, 24% of current NPs say they belong to a private practice; 14% work in hospital outpatient clinics, with another 12% in inpatient hospital units; 8% …

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New UCA Benchmarking Report Paints a Picture of a Booming Urgent Care Industry

New UCA Benchmarking Report Paints a Picture of a Booming Urgent Care Industry

The latest Benchmarking Report from the Urgent Care Association shows 8% growth in the urgent care industry over 2017, continuing an unbroken record of year-over-year growth and confirming that more people than ever are hungry for on-demand, affordable care. It also indicates that urgent care operations have been successful in adapting their offerings to fit the evolving needs of the patient population—and doing so with increasing efficiency, at that. The 2018 Benchmarking Report notes that …

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Teaming Up with TSA Links Urgent Care with Convenience, Safety, and Efficiency

Teaming Up with TSA Links Urgent Care with Convenience, Safety, and Efficiency

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) established its TSA Pre program to give air travelers a chance to lessen waiting time while maintaining federal rules designed to ensure safe flights. That’s not too far removed from urgent care’s mission of providing excellent medical care without waiting for days to see a primary care physician, and without the hours-long wait and exorbitant cost of the emergency room. As such, it makes sense that when the TSA rolled …

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Don’t Blame Doctors for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Don’t Blame Doctors for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Patients may sometimes be inclined to look at a medical bill and envision their doctor sliding behind the wheel of their brand-new Bentley at the end of a shift. We know that’s not exactly how it works, but now a new study in Health Affairs presents an academic approach to quantifying that fact. It suggests the growth in private insurance costs lies more with hospital prices than it does the cost of the physician’s time. …

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