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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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Seasonal Workers Need Urgent Care, Too

Seasonal Workers Need Urgent Care, Too

The dog days of summer are all the more brutal for the seasonal workers lugging tourists’ bags, sitting in the sun at the top of the water slide, and keeping the greens green on the golf course. Many of them may even be away from home and staying in employee housing. Where will they turn when they need immediate care? Your urgent care center would be a great place to start—provided you’ve laid the groundwork …

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Make Sure Vacationers in Your Area Can Find You

Make Sure Vacationers in Your Area Can Find You

Whether your location is fixed in a resort town or a couple of blocks off the interstate, it’s likely people from other areas will be passing through or spending some time nearby this summer. Some of them are going to catch a fish hook to the finger, eat tainted seafood, or be struck with the same URIs they’d be prone to back home. (In fact, insurance industry estimates hold that 20% of people will become …

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Note to Urgent Care Operators: No More Salary History Questions in New York City

Note to Urgent Care Operators: No More Salary History Questions in New York City

It’s official: New York City is now the latest entity to forbid hiring companies of any kind—including urgent care centers—from asking prospective employees how much money they made in previous positions. Though it won’t take effect until October, a bill to that effect was signed into effect just last week. The intent is to help close the gap in average salary between male and female workers. The rationale is that anyone who made less money …

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