ZOOM+Care Takes a Bold Gamble by Joining Federal Free PrEP Program

ZOOM+Care Takes a Bold Gamble by Joining Federal Free PrEP Program

Pre-exposure prophylactic treatment against HIV (PrEP) has been a controversial topic in urgent care. While the lifesaving potential of the once-daily pill is undeniable, some operators and clinicians believe offering it encourages high-risk behaviors. Others say it’s too difficult to receive fair compensation for the high level of patient education and follow-up that’s required. Some, on the other hand, say the hassle is worth the satisfaction of doing what one can to curb a serious …

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Primary Care Visits Are Tumbling: Is This a Problem or an Opportunity for You?

Primary Care Visits Are Tumbling: Is This a Problem or an Opportunity for You?

By this point, it isn’t news that preferences among patients are changing—away from traditional primary care, toward walk-in care with providers they might not necessarily ever see again. It’s plain that the doctor–patient relationship ain’t what it used to be. The change could be just as good for savvy urgent care operators at is bad for old-fashioned family practices, however. This is borne out by research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this month. …

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The Trend Toward Hiring NPs May Have Unintended Consequences

The Trend Toward Hiring NPs May Have Unintended Consequences

Nurse practitioners are gaining in both responsibility and numbers in the urgent care industry (as are physician assistants). The appeal is that it costs less to employ the average NP than it does the average physician, with no loss in prescribing authority. Employing advanced practice providers (APPs) in general allows an urgent care operator to handle more patients efficiently without adding dramatically to payroll. According to research published recently in the journal Health Affairs, the …

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In Memoriam: Peter Rosen, MD

  It’s a popular, but trite, tribute to say someone “wrote the book on [fill in the blank].” It’s usually not a statement of fact, however. A rare exception would be to say, “Peter Rosen wrote the book on emergency medicine” because, in fact, Peter Rosen, MD really was responsible for the first comprehensive textbook in emergency medicine (Rosen’s Emergency Management: Concepts and Clinical Practice, the first edition of which was published in 1983). A …

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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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