More Rationale for Urgent Care: Travel and Wait Times in Healthcare Cost $89 Billion Annually

More Rationale for Urgent Care: Travel and Wait Times in Healthcare Cost $89 Billion Annually

Americans spend more time traveling to and waiting to be seen by a healthcare provider than any other single pursuit, including in the infamously inefficient motor vehicle department, according to a study just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, that time amounts to an economic cost of roughly $89 billion dollars annually—and that’s not counting the time they spend in the exam room. Over the entire survey period (2006–2017), the sum approaches …

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New UCA Benchmarking Report Paints a Picture of a Booming Urgent Care Industry

New UCA Benchmarking Report Paints a Picture of a Booming Urgent Care Industry

The latest Benchmarking Report from the Urgent Care Association shows 8% growth in the urgent care industry over 2017, continuing an unbroken record of year-over-year growth and confirming that more people than ever are hungry for on-demand, affordable care. It also indicates that urgent care operations have been successful in adapting their offerings to fit the evolving needs of the patient population—and doing so with increasing efficiency, at that. The 2018 Benchmarking Report notes that …

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Don’t Blame Doctors for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Don’t Blame Doctors for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Patients may sometimes be inclined to look at a medical bill and envision their doctor sliding behind the wheel of their brand-new Bentley at the end of a shift. We know that’s not exactly how it works, but now a new study in Health Affairs presents an academic approach to quantifying that fact. It suggests the growth in private insurance costs lies more with hospital prices than it does the cost of the physician’s time. …

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Study Spotlights Huge Disparity in Cost Between Freestanding EDs and Urgent Care

Study Spotlights Huge Disparity in Cost Between Freestanding EDs and Urgent Care

Urgent care veterans, insurers, and certainly any patient who has ever visited both have been saying this for a long time, but a new study out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center confirms that freestanding emergency rooms are likely to charge more (sometimes a lot more) than urgent care centers for the same services. The study, newly published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, uncovered certain cost characteristics of freestanding EDs that had been converted from …

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Patients Consider Convenience Before Quality; It’s a Good Thing Urgent Care Offers Both

Patients Consider Convenience Before Quality; It’s a Good Thing Urgent Care Offers Both

By now we’ve all gotten the point that patients want excellent care when they need it, which may not be when their primary care provider or a specialist they’d like to see is available. A new study from NRC Health reveals that the convenience factor is actually a higher priority than quality of care when those patients are deciding where to go. The survey included 223,000 healthcare consumers, 51% of whom said convenience and access …

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The Data Are in: ED Visits Go Up When Urgent Care Centers Are Closed

The Data Are in: ED Visits Go Up When Urgent Care Centers Are Closed

Urgent care insiders and advocates have known it intuitively for a long time, but now data are bearing out the fact that urgent care centers really do help thin out the congestion (and associated cost) in emergency rooms—especially in areas where there are multiple locations to choose from. A multistate study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows there’s a 1.4% increase in ED visits by privately insured patients when urgent care centers are …

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Top Hospital Chain Branches Out into Psychiatric Urgent Care

Top Hospital Chain Branches Out into Psychiatric Urgent Care

Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest hospital chain in New Jersey, is merging with Carrier Clinic as the first step in staking a claim in an emerging urgent care “specialty.” Hackensack and Carrier, which specializes in treating patients with substance abuse and mental health issues, will open an urgent care facility specifically for patients with such concerns in Neptune, NJ. The aim will be to offer walk-in care for patients in crisis, largely in order to …

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WSJ: Keeping Patients In-House is Solid Rationale for Hospitals to Own Urgent Care Centers

WSJ: Keeping Patients In-House is Solid Rationale for Hospitals to Own Urgent Care Centers

Regular readers of JUCM News know that hospitals have been buying or starting their own urgent care centers in greater numbers in recent years. It’s self-evident that they see it as a good business to enter, but a new article in the Wall Street Journal confirms the economic advantages of keeping patients in-house, instead of referring them out to urgent care centers or specialty practices outside of the hospital’s organization—as in, millions of dollars in …

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Multistate Telemedicine Practice Could Be a Boost or a Drain for Urgent Care Business

Multistate Telemedicine Practice Could Be a Boost or a Drain for Urgent Care Business

It’s typical for healthcare providers who are licensed in one state to be permitted to treat patients only in that state. A new set of regulations could open to door to treating patients in multiple states, however—at least virtually. Currently, 24 states belong to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which reduces barriers that prohibit providers from treating patients in multiple states if they’re only licensed in one. Physicians do have to apply and pay fees …

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Success with VA May Inspire Others to Rely More on APPs in Urgent Care

Success with VA May Inspire Others to Rely More on APPs in Urgent Care

It’s not news that there’s a shortage of primary care physicians that is expected to affect both primary care and urgent care practices more and more in the coming years. It’s also well established that advanced practice practitioners (APPs)—nurse practitioners and physician assistants—are being called on to shoulder more of the work load in medical practices of every stripe. A physician-penned opinion piece recently published by The Hill asserts that trend is a viable solution …

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