Update: Measles Cases Continue to Escalate in More States

Update: Measles Cases Continue to Escalate in More States

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the number of measles cases continues to grow in the United States, and that more states are seeing cases than was previously known. From January 1 to April 4 of this year, 465 cases were confirmed in 19 states—all told, the second highest number of cases since measles was declared “eliminated” in 2000. The CDC cautioned that the case count is preliminary, so the …

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Does Offering PrEP Services Increase Risk for ‘Other’ Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Does Offering PrEP Services Increase Risk for ‘Other’ Sexually Transmitted Infections?

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) against HIV infection is controversial. Proponents hail it as a long-overdue opportunity to save lives and stem a public health crisis. Some urgent care providers are exploring whether it’s a viable opportunity both clinically and economically. Then again, some clinicians and public health officials believe offering PrEP de-incentivizes patients from using safe-sex practices and making healthy sexual decisions. A newly published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association raises another …

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A Peek Inside Urgent Care Acquisitions—from the Hospital Side

A Peek Inside Urgent Care Acquisitions—from the Hospital Side

JUCM (both the journal and in this newsletter) is full of information and news about current trends in urgent care acquisitions and mergers. The Urgent Care Association’s newsletter is, too, and if you attended the recent UCA convention you heard plenty about how health systems are buying up small, and even not-so-small, urgent care operations. Some perceive that big health systems are gobbling up urgent care centers as an investment or in the spirit of, …

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Warning: There’s Danger in Discontinuing Opioids Too Abruptly

Warning: There’s Danger in Discontinuing Opioids Too Abruptly

Urgent care providers have gotten the message that rampant opioid prescribing has led to a public health crisis rooted in addiction and death. And it’s likely new prescriptions have dropped considerably as a result. However, knee-jerk attempts to stop taking them immediately also poses the threat of “serious harm” to patients, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Going cold turkey or dropping existing doses too suddenly has led to withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, …

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Walgreens Tries Wading Deeper into Primary Care

Walgreens Tries Wading Deeper into Primary Care

JUCM News readers know Walgreens has been making inroads toward urgent care by partnering with MedExpress in select locations. Now comes word that the chain drugstore giant is working with VillageMD to offer primary care for adults at five locations in the Houston area. By the end of this year, the plan is to start opening VillageMD primary care clinics next to existing Walgreens stores. Each will be called Village Medical at Walgreens, offering primary …

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CDC: Resistant Candida auris is a ‘Serious Global Health Threat’; Is Your State Getting Hit?

CDC: Resistant Candida auris is a ‘Serious Global Health Threat’; Is Your State Getting Hit?

In response to mounting cases across the globe, this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Candida auris an “emerging fungus” that poses a “serious global threat.” It spreads in healthcare settings via contact with exposed surfaces and person-to-person contact. It’s also resistant to some or all antifungal drugs, according to the CDC, making it an especially vexing concern. The most common symptoms include chills and fever that do not respond to antibiotic …

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UCA Honors an Urgent Care Veteran—and Longtime JUCM Contributor

UCA Honors an Urgent Care Veteran—and Longtime JUCM Contributor

The Urgent Care Association bestowed its Lifetime Membership Award on a true leader in the urgent care industry during its national convention in Palm Beach, FL this week—and it’s someone whose name will be familiar to JUCM readers. Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc has been a part of urgent care’s growth for many years, from serving as a consultant to urgent care clients and  holding multiple executive-level positions with Concentra, to leading various hospital-affiliated urgent care …

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Business Insider Sums Up the Ongoing Rise of the Urgent Care Market

Business Insider Sums Up the Ongoing Rise of the Urgent Care Market

If you’re reading this, then the fact that urgent care as a distinct practice setting has been on a steady growth trajectory for years isn’t news. It may be more so for readers of Business Insider magazine, however. They know now, though, thanks to a new article that uses data from the current Urgent Care Association Benchmarking Report to illustrate both the growth of the industry and the services patients are most likely to find …

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Telemedicine ‘Visits’ Are More Likely to Result in Guideline-Noncompliant Antibiotic Prescriptions

Telemedicine ‘Visits’ Are More Likely to Result in Guideline-Noncompliant Antibiotic Prescriptions

A study just published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that the rate of antibiotic prescribing for children with symptoms of acute respiratory infections is higher in connection with direct-to-consumer telemedicine than for those children whose parents take them to an urgent care center or primary care provider. Unfortunately, only 59% of those prescriptions were in accord with existing guidelines, the authors reported; the rate of “compliant” prescriptions in urgent care and primary care visits topped …

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E Coli Outbreak Spreads to Five States

E Coli Outbreak Spreads to Five States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—along with the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and numerous state departments of health—are investigating a growing outbreak of Shiga-producing E coli. Cases have turned up in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia as of April 4. So far 72 people have been infected; there have been multiple hospitalizations, but no deaths or cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have occurred, to …

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