Amazon Is Wading Deeper into Primary Care—Internally (for Now, at Least)

Amazon Is Wading Deeper into Primary Care—Internally (for Now, at Least)

Amazon is investing more resources into Amazon Care, its in-house primary care program in Seattle. The company announced it’s buying Health Navigator, which provides technology and other services to digital health companies. While the financial details of the deal are undisclosed, last year Amazon plunked down $753 million to buy the online pharmacy company PillPack. The message is that they’re betting heavily that they can realize substantial cost savings by facilitating primary care for employees …

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Millennial Physicians: High in Numbers, Hard to Recruit—Here’s What You Need to Know

Millennial Physicians: High in Numbers, Hard to Recruit—Here’s What You Need to Know

Much has been written and said about the preferences of patients in the Millennial generation (defined by Pew Research as anyone born between 1981 and 1996). And rightly so; they’re a sizable portion of your prospective patient population. What may be overlooked, however, is the fact that this same age segment also makes up a sizable portion of your prospective workforce, including physicians. In fact, according to a blog post on the UCA website, authored …

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In Texas, Even the Urgent Care Savings Are Big

In Texas, Even the Urgent Care Savings Are Big

Texas has taken some hard knocks for the proliferation of freestanding emergency rooms there—especially in light of criticism of that industry for surprise billing. It seems too many patients walk into a freestanding ED thinking it’s an urgent care center, only to be socked with emergency room-like charges weeks or months later. The upside (for urgent care, anyway) is that the controversies prompted the Texas Association of Health Plans to do a study of cost …

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Urgent Care Is Getting Good Press for Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts

Urgent Care Is Getting Good Press for Antibiotic Stewardship Efforts

Last year, urgent care was among the fields to be called out for too often prescribing antibiotics when none was warranted. The data were somewhat misleading, given that urgent care is also a setting to which many antibiotic-seeking patients turn. Nonetheless, the industry collectively took stock of itself and vowed to improve; and the fruits of that labor are already evident, and the world is noticing. The Urgent Care Association, for one, created an Antibiotic …

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Urgent Care Takes a Run at Appealing to Gig Workers—and There Are a Lot of Them

Urgent Care Takes a Run at Appealing to Gig Workers—and There Are a Lot of Them

A recent post on the Forbes website noted that 64% of gig workers (or contractors, full-time freelancers, independent workers…pick your favorite term) have no paid sick time. Considering that they make up around one-third of the U.S. workforce these days, that’s a lot of people stressed about staying well or getting well quickly if they do get sick. Their economic survival (and physical health, obviously) depends on it. The Urgent Care Association just forged a …

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Measures to Keep Emergency Rooms Safe and Secure May Drive Still More Patients to Urgent Care

Measures to Keep Emergency Rooms Safe and Secure May Drive Still More Patients to Urgent Care

A North Carolina hospital system is installing metal detectors, limiting elevator access in specific areas within its facility, and hiring armed guards to keep watch in its emergency rooms in the wake of incidents ranging from an armed patient roaming the halls to a distraught mother barricading herself and her son (a patient) in a hospital room. While it’s laudable that they’re doing what they feel is necessary to keep patients and staff safe, such …

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Not Controversial, Just Hard to Come by: Fair Pay for Urgent Care Services Rendered

Not Controversial, Just Hard to Come by: Fair Pay for Urgent Care Services Rendered

It’s safe to say no one reading this would disagree that urgent care centers fulfill an essential role in the U.S. healthcare landscape of 2019. It follows that fair compensation for care provided at an urgent care center should be a given. As you undoubtedly know, that’s not necessarily the case, however, and the Urgent Care Association is trying to make sure the parties with the authority to change that inequity get the message. UCA …

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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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