New Data Reveal the Scourge of Overdoses Is Worse, with Multiple Substances, than Thought

New Data Reveal the Scourge of Overdoses Is Worse, with Multiple Substances, than Thought

JUCM News readers know overdose deaths have risen steadily over many years (every year since the 1970s with the exception of 2018, in fact). Even after many years of public health campaigns at the federal and state level, however, no progress has been made. In fact, mortalities jumped 15% from 2020 to 2021, and involved not only fentanyl but also methamphetamine according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Both drugs are …

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Update: Transplants, Deaths, and No Answers Regarding Sudden Pediatric Liver Illness

Update: Transplants, Deaths, and No Answers Regarding Sudden Pediatric Liver Illness

While it’s still a rare occurrence, a liver ailment that appears to affect children has infectious disease experts mystified—and concerned, given that five children have died and 16 of the 109 afflicted have had to undergo liver transplant. Nearly a hundred have been hospitalized. It’s not a local or regional problem, either, as cases have been confirmed in 25 states and U.S. territories. Right now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking at …

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Is It an Urgent Care Center? Is It an Emergency Room? The Answer Is…Yes

Is It an Urgent Care Center? Is It an Emergency Room? The Answer Is…Yes

University of Florida Health has announced the opening of three 24-hour “hybrid” emergency-urgent care centers. The centers are staffed by board-certified emergency medicine providers and have many of the same capabilities as an emergency room, including advanced lab and multi-slice CT scanners. Patients are screened upon arrival to determine whether they require emergency or urgent care—with an estimated 70% of those patients able to be seen on the urgent care side at lower urgent care …

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Are Prospective Urgent Care Workers Being Lured Away by False Promises?

Are Prospective Urgent Care Workers Being Lured Away by False Promises?

Urgent care as a field of employment is taking hits in the form of wage inflation, turnover, a dearth of well-qualified applicants, new hires who “ghost” their employer by not showing up for the job they applied for (and got)…. While it’s likely some have simply burned out from working in healthcare over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that others are being lured away to industries where the proverbial grass looks greener—today. …

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Follow-up: The Pandemic Telehealth Spike May Have Been Higher Than You Thought

Follow-up: The Pandemic Telehealth Spike May Have Been Higher Than You Thought

Just last week we told you that shares of telehealth companies were freefalling in the wake of a dip in usage—likely a course correction following the spike in use of remote care during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now FAIR Health has released data revealing just how steep that spike was: In 2020, as utilization fell in emergency rooms (a 30% drop) and urgent care centers (16%), use of telehealth grew 7,000% in …

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The Urgent Care Center Is a High-Risk Environment. Ensure Yours Is Secure

The Urgent Care Center Is a High-Risk Environment. Ensure Yours Is Secure

Local media in the Ravenna, OH area was atwitter with news of an active shooter outside a VA medical center recently. The drama began when an employee arrived for work and noticed a man with a sawed-off shotgun kneeling and kissing a flagpole in front of the building. When the facility’s security officer was informed and went out to investigate, the kneeling man fired off a shot into the air, triggering calls to 911, a …

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Has Telemedicine’s ‘Moment’ Come and Gone?

Has Telemedicine’s ‘Moment’ Come and Gone?

As JUCM News readers may recall, use of telemedicine services has increased dramatically—and fallen precipitously—at various times during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some urgent care operators have tried to ride the wave, while others have continued to act (or not act) based on their skepticism of the medium’s viability in the urgent care setting. Now it appears that the investment community may be weighing in with its collective opinion on the future of …

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Already a Problem Before the Pandemic, Burnout May Be Reaching Crisis Proportions

Already a Problem Before the Pandemic, Burnout May Be Reaching Crisis Proportions

Healthcare professionals in general—with urgent care providers prominent among them—are prone to burn out due to the never-ending responsibility for their patients’ health while also having to keep up with the demands of coding, compliance, updates in practice standards imposed by the state and employers…. And certainly things have not been made better by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just how bad things have deteriorated was made evident in a report issued by Augmedix. Taking a review-article …

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Failing to Keep Scrupulous Records and Submit Spotless Claims Comes with a Heavy Price

Failing to Keep Scrupulous Records and Submit Spotless Claims Comes with a Heavy Price

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the entire world into chaos. Certainly urgent care centers experienced their own massive disruptions, such as keeping up with seemingly spontaneous changes in rules related to caring for patients during a healthcare crisis. That doesn’t mean less attention can be paid to complying with relevant regulations, however, as an urgent care operator in New York can affirm. The company agreed to pay over half a million dollars to settle allegations that …

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New Mergers Could Reflect an Emerging Trend in Urgent Care

New Mergers Could Reflect an Emerging Trend in Urgent Care

A pair of recently announced mergers may signal the advent of new trends in the urgent care marketplace. First, the joining of Xpress Wellness and Integrity Urgent Care, which puts 47 urgent care centers in rural Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas under a single corporate umbrella, reflects surging interest in providing services to residents outside of urban and suburban areas. At the same time, HCA is buying BetterMed and its 12 locations in central Virginia—further confirmation …

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