Amazon May Push Walgreens to Accelerate, Expand UnitedHealth Urgent Care Plans

Amazon May Push Walgreens to Accelerate, Expand UnitedHealth Urgent Care Plans

A new article published online by Forbes suggests that Walgreens, which is working with MedExpress to bring urgent care centers to the retail pharmacy space, may need to consider stepping up those efforts in light of overtures Amazon has made to enter the pharmacy business. So far, Walgreens and MedExpress say they’ve set up shop in 15 U.S. Walgreens locations as something of a “pilot” to see if the idea is fruitful enough to continue …

Read More
Keep an Eye on the Calendar for Cues to Offer Seasonal Promotions

Keep an Eye on the Calendar for Cues to Offer Seasonal Promotions

Most of your urgent care patients—and prospective patients—would never even think of visiting your location unless they really need to see a clinician today and they can’t get in to see their primary care provider. Seasonal promotions can be a great way to change that, though, giving you an opportunity to introduce them to your services at a time they’re not feeling their worst. American Family Care (AFC) is doing just that by offering a …

Read More
Walgreens May Not Need to Buy a Health Plan to Stay Competitive

Walgreens May Not Need to Buy a Health Plan to Stay Competitive

The woods have been thick with mergers joining formerly disparate segments of the healthcare industry, with major drugstore chains and insurers being a prime example. The biggest headlines of that lot followed news of CVS’s plans to by Aetna. Nonetheless, one of CVS’s key competitors is sitting out this growing trend, at least for now. Instead, Walgreens Boots Alliance has chosen to stick closer to its core business by building a close relationship with Prime …

Read More
Keeping Patients ‘In-House’ by Forging New Partnerships

Keeping Patients ‘In-House’ by Forging New Partnerships

Western Connecticut Medical Group (WCMG) and American Family Care (AFC) have entered into a collaborative partnership to provide coordinated patient care—or, put more plainly, to increase the odds of retaining patients who visit AFC’s urgent care locations within a defined follow-up path. The two companies have structured their arrangement so AFC patients who need follow-up will have improved access to primary and specialty care practices within WCMG. Traffic will be two-way, too; WCMG patients who need …

Read More
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase Circle the Wagons to Cut Healthcare Costs

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase Circle the Wagons to Cut Healthcare Costs

Three gigantic—and extremely wealthy—corporations are joining forces to try to lower what their leadership considers to be exorbitant healthcare costs. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase say they’re forming an “independent healthcare company” specifically for their employees—more than a million people, though not all are in the U.S. The new entity will focus on technological solutions to lower costs, simplify coverage, and increase transparency in employee healthcare. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet says the triumvirate “does …

Read More
Make Patients Aware of Your Clinic’s Holiday Plans

Make Patients Aware of Your Clinic’s Holiday Plans

Patients visit urgent care centers because they’re convenient places to get quality care, and often at a time when the primary care office is closed. Those advantages—and the goodwill they engender—go out the window when patients waste a trip only to find your doors locked and the lights out, however. With Thanksgiving next week, make sure you’ve done everything you can to make the public aware of when you will and will not be open. …

Read More
Why Is It So Hard to Get Honest Feedback from Employees?

Why Is It So Hard to Get Honest Feedback from Employees?

Research has proven that workers who feel free to give constructive feedback about their jobs and their employers stay longer. The challenge, according to a new article published in the Harvard Business Review and reviewed online by Advisory Board, is getting them to feel comfortable enough to provide that feedback. Many workers feel any comments perceived as negative will be used against them, while others assume management doesn’t really want to hear it so any …

Read More
Do ‘Small-Scale’ Mergers Add Up to Medical Monopolies?

Do ‘Small-Scale’ Mergers Add Up to Medical Monopolies?

The ongoing growth of the urgent care industry despite naysayers and a challenging payer landscape speaks to the commitment of individual physician owners who recognized the benefit of a different approach to practicing medicine—for themselves and for the patient. As we’ve mentioned here, one recent trend has seen hospital systems gobbling up individually owned urgent care operations. While the government keeps fairly close watch on mega mergers—sometimes blocking them in the interest of protecting an …

Read More
The Cost of Compliance Continues to Climb—Plan Accordingly

The Cost of Compliance Continues to Climb—Plan Accordingly

The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the EHR incentive program, and other Medicare programs are driving the cost of complying with federal regulations through the roof, according to a new survey from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The group says nearly half of practices in the U.S. spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician to keep up—while 14% say that figure is $100,000 or more per physician. The MGMA says the wide range is …

Read More
Outreach is Key in Attracting New Patients

Outreach is Key in Attracting New Patients

Announcing that the high school football season is a month and a half away isn’t likely to draw much attention. However, noting that scholastic athletes will have to get their physicals done early in anticipation of practice starting—especially if you run an urgent care centers that’s offering a discount on preseason check-ups—could increase a center’s visibility and even draw in patients who may have never visited before. Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, in North Carolina, …

Read More