Update: Another State Takes a Hard Look at Pharmacist Prescribing

Update: Another State Takes a Hard Look at Pharmacist Prescribing

Montana has joined the growing number of states to consider expanding the authority pharmacists have to make clinical decisions and direct care. As reported by Kaiser Health News, the state’s Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee recommended a bill that would allow pharmacists to generate and supply prescription refills, along with originating prescriptions for medications and devices in certain situations. The bill has gained support on the rationale that, like many areas, Montana is …

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<strong>Persistent Misinformation About Urgent Care Suggests We Need to Boost Engagement</strong>

Persistent Misinformation About Urgent Care Suggests We Need to Boost Engagement

If you read the opinion piece implying that urgent care is somehow complicit in the lowering life expectancy in the United States, written by a first-year medical student and published by a medical news service last week, you were probably struck by the flood of misinformation and misguided notions it contained. For example, the author took issue with some urgent care operators’ messaging to their surrounding communities. “UCCs in some cases still market themselves as …

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<strong>Conducting Urgent Care Research Is as Expensive as It Is Essential—but Help Is on the Way</strong>

Conducting Urgent Care Research Is as Expensive as It Is Essential—but Help Is on the Way

JUCM has succeeded in its commitment to publish at least one piece of original research in each issue over the past couple of years—and we plan to continue—but, in general, studies specific to urgent care continue to be scarce. One challenge is that conducting research can be an expensive proposition. Operators running on thin margins or venture capitalist-type ownership may balk at committing to studies that could benefit the field but not have a financial …

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<strong>Budgets Are Tight, but So Are Staffing Levels. Disregard Employee Satisfaction at Your Own Risk</strong>

Budgets Are Tight, but So Are Staffing Levels. Disregard Employee Satisfaction at Your Own Risk

We don’t have to tell you that in 2023 there is no room for fat in the budgets of urgent care operations (or any other healthcare business). One area in which businesses in all industries look to ensure efficiency is how much they spend on the staff.  When times are tight, tough decisions have to be made. Sometimes that means layoffs, and sometimes it means cutting back on spending. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health learned …

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<strong>Like PA’s, Urgent Care NP’s Earn Relatively More Than Peers in Other Settings</strong>

Like PA’s, Urgent Care NP’s Earn Relatively More Than Peers in Other Settings

Not too long ago, we reported that physician assistants practicing in urgent care are among the most well-compensated PAs in the U.S. healthcare workforce. Now, with the release of more data in the 2022 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Productivity Survey as reported by Becker’s Hospital Review from SullivanCotter, we can tell you that while nurse practitioners don’t rank quite as high as PAs compared with their peers in other settings (sixth vs third, respectively), …

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<strong>North of the Border, Pharmacists Are Creeping Closer to Practicing Medicine</strong>

North of the Border, Pharmacists Are Creeping Closer to Practicing Medicine

In a development that is sure to have implications in the United States healthcare marketplace, Ontario became the latest province in Canada to allow pharmacists to diagnose and prescribe medication for a finite list of acute ailments. According to a report from the CBC, it’s the second-to-last province to do so, with British Columbia being the only holdout at present. Only a handful of U.S. states have opted to let pharmacists “test and treat” a …

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If PA’s Start Moving Away from Urgent Care, It Won’t Be Because of the Money

If PA’s Start Moving Away from Urgent Care, It Won’t Be Because of the Money

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners have become essential members of the urgent care clinical team. In some instances, they head the clinical team, and run their own urgent care operations. The desire to practice medicine in a unique environment isn’t the only draw for PAs, however. As reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, urgent care PAs rank third on the list of top 10 highest-compensated practice settings. Quoting information from the 2022 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation …

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<strong>Nurse Practitioners Are Inching Closer to Independence from Physician Oversight</strong>

Nurse Practitioners Are Inching Closer to Independence from Physician Oversight

The contributions of nurse practitioners and physician assistants (known collectively as advanced practice providers, or APPs) have come to be invaluable in urgent care practices. With physicians in shorter supply and greater demand, the argument could be made that NPs and PAs are essential in keeping some urgent care operations afloat. The question of how much physician oversight should be required remains a controversial one—though in some states rules are relaxing to the point that …

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In a Story Even Stranger than ‘Man Bites Dog,’ the Takeaway Is the Global Spread of Urgent Care

In a Story Even Stranger than ‘Man Bites Dog,’ the Takeaway Is the Global Spread of Urgent Care

Let’s get the headline-grabbing part of the story out of the way first: According to an article published online, an 8-year-old boy in India defended himself against an attack by a deadly cobra by biting the snake back—with the reptile ultimately succumbing to its own injuries and the boy surviving. The less sensational, but possibly more impactful aspect of the story is that the boy received treatment not at a hospital or community health clinic, …

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Staffing Issues Are Hitting Pharmacies, too—and with Flu Season Here, the Timing Couldn’t Be Worse

Staffing Issues Are Hitting Pharmacies, too—and with Flu Season Here, the Timing Couldn’t Be Worse

We’re all well aware that urgent care centers are wrestling with shortages of clinical staff, x-ray technicians, and various other essential positions. It’s especially challenging when patient visits start to swell, such as during flu season. Be aware that the situation could get dire as the weeks roll on, however. According to an article just published by Becker’s Hospital Review, drugstores are having their own troubles with pharmacist staffing—and it’s starting to hinder their ability …

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