Don’t Let Bad Timing Result in ‘Surprise’ Billing to Potentially Loyal Patients

Don’t Let Bad Timing Result in ‘Surprise’ Billing to Potentially Loyal Patients

Fast growth and the deepening physician shortage are quickening the pace at which urgent care operators need to fill clinical spots. The challenge is not simply finding the right personnel, though. Just as an urgent care facility must be credentialled, so must individual providers. That can take up to 120 days—which can have serious implications when it comes to billing patients. Say a patient whose insurance has you squarely in-network is seen by a physician …

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Urgent Care Could Be Saving the Healthcare System $32 Billion a Year

Urgent Care Could Be Saving the Healthcare System $32 Billion a Year

A new report from UnitedHealth Group reveals that around two-thirds of the 27 million annual visits to U.S. emergency rooms are unnecessary. Those 18 million encounters carry an average cost of $2,032 each, adding up to a $36 billion price tag for care that could be provided more easily and just as safely elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. The same brief notes the average cost of a trip to an urgent care center …

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Online Patient Reviews Quantify Merits of—and Show Lots of Love for—Urgent Care

Online Patient Reviews Quantify Merits of—and Show Lots of Love for—Urgent Care

A study just published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine highlights the growing trend of patients flocking to urgent care centers, and having a positive experience once they get there. The research considers more than 84,500 urgent care center reviews and over 16,400 emergency department reviews on Yelp. In general, the authors note, patients give higher ratings to urgent care; around 60% of the urgent care reviews were four stars or more, while around the …

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You Should Be Commended for Your Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts—Literally

You Should Be Commended for Your Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts—Literally

The Urgent Care Association and the College of Urgent Care Medicine have launched a new initiative to formally acknowledge urgent care operators who demonstrate compliance with the Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Antibiotic Stewardship Commendation program is intended to encourage urgent care centers to become more proactive in their antibiotic stewardship efforts. Using evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and management, participating urgent care operators can design …

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Urgent Care Recruiting Trends Set the Tone for Healthcare Overall

Urgent Care Recruiting Trends Set the Tone for Healthcare Overall

The need to be “everywhere all the time” has become something of a mantra in healthcare, according to the latest Overview of the Salaries, Bonuses, and Other Incentives Customarily Used to Recruit Physicians, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners, compiled and presented by Merritt Hawkins. The report spotlights the growth of urgent care, specifically, along with other walk-in settings as a key influencer in changing patient expectations when they choose a healthcare provider. Secondary to that, …

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Want to Ease Your Patients’ Worries? Take a Vacation

Want to Ease Your Patients’ Worries? Take a Vacation

Readers of JUCM News may recall that the World Health Organization officially declared burnout to be a “workplace phenomenon” recently. Now a study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reveals something that is arguably even more alarming: 74% of Americans—your patients—are worried that the healthcare providers treating them could be suffering from burnout. An even higher percentage (80%) believe that burnout diminishes the quality of care an …

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Primary Care Shortage Could Further Set Urgent Care Apart—for Better or Worse

Primary Care Shortage Could Further Set Urgent Care Apart—for Better or Worse

First, the irrefutable statistics: The percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students this year was the lowest ever (41%), according to the 2019 National Resident Matching Program. Given that this year also saw the highest number of primary care openings on record (8,116), the potential for a serious shortfall is more than evident. For purposes of categorizing subspecialties, the Match considers “primary care” to encompass internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics—notably, not …

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UnitedHealth Sets $100 Billion Expectation for Medical Business

UnitedHealth Sets $100 Billion Expectation for Medical Business

Some “experts” in both the insurance and healthcare industries may have been skeptical when UnitedHealth Group’s Optima division bought MedExpress a few years ago. Others predicted that the insurance giant would likely look for ways to deliver deeper healthcare services to their own plan members. They were right. MedExpress is now the largest urgent care chain in the country. UHG expects even bigger things to come, however—projecting that MedExpress will help push its OptumCare medical …

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Key Trends in Overall Healthcare Align with Urgent Care’s Path

Key Trends in Overall Healthcare Align with Urgent Care’s Path

According to a new report from Definitive Healthcare, industry consolidation and consumerism are the two hottest trends among healthcare companies in the United States—both of which, as we know, also reflect the growth and attributes of the urgent care business. The third most-mentioned trends, the rise of telehealth, is becoming a hot topic in urgent care circles, as well. Industry consolidation was the most-mentioned response (25% of the 1,000 healthcare leaders in the provider, biotech, …

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Is a More Efficient Practice the Answer to the Physician Shortage—Assuming It Exists?

Is a More Efficient Practice the Answer to the Physician Shortage—Assuming It Exists?

We’ve all heard how the infamous, impending physician shortage will make efficient delivery of quality care more challenging than ever before. As we’ve told you, those concerns are actually influencing the evolution of urgent care—for example, leading operators to consider greater utilization of advanced-practice providers. Interestingly, a new post on Advisory Board turns the whole issue on its ear by asking the question, “does America have a physician shortage—or are our doctors ‘just bad at …

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