Healthy ED–Urgent Care Referral Relationships Can Save Lives

Healthy ED–Urgent Care Referral Relationships Can Save Lives

The story of a young woman who died after leaving the emergency room to get faster care at an urgent care center in Wisconsin recently continues to make headlines. The 25-year-old reported to the ED with chest pains and shortness of breath. She was actually seen in fairly short order; x-rays showed an enlarged heart and she was sent back to the waiting room—where she waited for more than 2 hours. Fed up and nervous …

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AHA Says Outpatient Visits Are Down—and Urgent Care Is One of the Reasons

For the first time in 35 years, outpatient visits to U.S. hospitals are down—and urgent care is at least partially responsible, according to a new report from the American Hospital Association. The AHA 2020 Hospital Statistics Report, reflecting data from 6,000 hospitals, notes a 1% drop in 2018 compared with 2017, led by reduction in emergency room visits. AHA attributes the historic reduction to patients choosing more convenient and less expensive options, including urgent care …

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Health Systems Are Pleading with Flu Patients to Go to Urgent Care

Health Systems Are Pleading with Flu Patients to Go to Urgent Care

Emergency rooms around the country are so crowded these days that they’re urging patients with symptoms of influenza to go to urgent care centers instead of the ED, unless they’re experiencing shortness of breath, debilitating cough, or other serious concerns. Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio, for one, announced in the local media that due to a surge in flu cases patients with symptoms should contact their primary care providers or head directly to an urgent …

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New Data Reinforce the Need for Urgent Care to Differentiate from Freestanding EDs

New Data Reinforce the Need for Urgent Care to Differentiate from Freestanding EDs

It’s widely recognized that while freestanding emergency rooms are perfectly good places to go for walk-in care, the cost associated with that care is exorbitant compared with urgent care (and even more so compared with primary care or retail clinics). The problem is compounded by the fact that many patients who visit freestanding EDs think they’re walking into an urgent care center and are later hit with surprise bills. A new study in Academic Emergency …

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Crain’s Health Pulse Lauds the Last Decade for the ‘Rise of Urgent Care’

Crain’s Health Pulse Lauds the Last Decade for the ‘Rise of Urgent Care’

With the decade about to come to a close, Crain’s Health Pulse considered what some of the biggest healthcare stories of the 2010s were—concluding that the ongoing “rise of urgent care” is significant among them. A Look Back at the 2010s: The Rise of Urgent Care notes that what made the period of 2010–2019 so good for urgent care as a business model is likely to spur further growth in 2020 and beyond. Where evolving …

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Are Emerging Home Testing Options ‘Disruptive’—or a New Opportunity for Urgent Care?

Are Emerging Home Testing Options ‘Disruptive’—or a New Opportunity for Urgent Care?

Not long ago, LabCorp started offering consumers the opportunity to order and administer some 90 different lab tests for themselves. Now comes word that Amazon is looking for a way to get into the home diagnostics business; according to CNBC, the company recently tried, but failed, to acquire a diagnostic start-up called Confer Health. Given Amazon’s ability to reach patients at home 24 hours a day, it stands to reason that a successful entry into …

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Talk About Good News (Literally): ‘Denver Health’s Urgent Care Helps Patients Lower Bills’

Talk About Good News (Literally): ‘Denver Health’s Urgent Care Helps Patients Lower Bills’

The headline in quotes above actually appeared in Colorado’s Sky-Hi News this week, reflecting a self-assessed trend at Denver Health’s Winter Park Medical Center. The facility opened its own urgent care location almost a year ago, with the notion that the move might help alleviate crowding in its emergency room. Being at the base of a ski resort, however, they’ve seen more volume than a standard business model might predict; more predictably, they’ve found that …

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CDC Ponies Up $1.8 Million for an Urgent Care-Based Antibiotic Initiative

CDC Ponies Up $1.8 Million for an Urgent Care-Based Antibiotic Initiative

Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have received a $1.8 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an antibiotic stewardship program in their urgent care centers. Around 700,000 patients visit Intermountain urgent care centers annually, with the number continuing to climb every year. The first step in the initiative will be trying to refine how patients view prescriptions themselves. For example, more patients who come in expecting to get …

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CDC Ponies Up $1.8 Million for an Urgent Care-Based Antibiotic Initiative

CDC Ponies Up $1.8 Million for an Urgent Care-Based Antibiotic Initiative

Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health have received a $1.8 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct an antibiotic stewardship program in their urgent care centers. Around 700,000 patients visit Intermountain urgent care centers annually, with the number continuing to climb every year. The first step in the initiative will be trying to refine how patients view prescriptions themselves. For example, more patients who come in expecting to get …

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Urgent Care Leads the Way in Reducing ED Visits in Utah

Urgent Care Leads the Way in Reducing ED Visits in Utah

The Utah Department of Health specifically called out greater utilization of urgent care as a key factor in reducing emergency room visits across the state—along with a corresponding decrease in associated costs, of course. While the report did not put a dollar amount on the savings, it does note that an average trip to the ED in the state costs five-and-a-half times more than an urgent care visit. Since the state DoH reports that around …

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