Push to Make Healthcare Costs More Transparent Could Only Boost Urgent Care Further

Push to Make Healthcare Costs More Transparent Could Only Boost Urgent Care Further

The Department of Health and Human Services seems to be following President Trump’s call to make healthcare pricing more transparent, according to an article recently published in the Wall Street Journal—a move which, if it comes to fruition, would likely boost urgent care’s reputation as a lower cost alternative than the emergency room. Most recently, the DOH issued a call for public comment on whether patients should know the “true” cost of care before they …

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If Ambulances Can Bring Patients to Urgent Care, Why Not Ride-Share Services?

If Ambulances Can Bring Patients to Urgent Care, Why Not Ride-Share Services?

We told you recently about a new program in which ambulances may be used to transport Medicare patients not only to the hospital, but to urgent care centers in response to 911 calls that wind up to be nonemergent. This begs the question: Could rideshare services be employed to carry out the same vital function? Such has been raised in the Texas legislature, as detailed in an article just published in the Houston Chronicle. The …

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What’s in a Name? Plenty, UCA Tells the VA

What’s in a Name? Plenty, UCA Tells the VA

The Department of Veteran Affairs has loosened its regulations about where veterans can seek care considerably in the past couple of years. In certain conditions, such as distance from or availability of care at a VA facility, they can head straight to a walk-in clinic without preauthorization. The Urgent Care Association took notice—close notice, in fact, and is urging the VA to tweak the policy. While the idea of allowing the patients it covers to …

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Senate Committee Chair Asks for Ideas to Lower Health Costs, and UCA Obliges

Senate Committee Chair Asks for Ideas to Lower Health Costs, and UCA Obliges

When Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, issued a call for recommendations on how to lower the cost of healthcare in the United States, the Urgent Care Association put together a response packed with data on the relative merits of urgent care, both in terms of the quality of care and the dramatically lower cost compared with freestanding emergency rooms and hospital-based EDs. UCA suggested that a …

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More States Are Asking: How Much Oversight Do NPs Really Need?

More States Are Asking: How Much Oversight Do NPs Really Need?

Just this month, we shared data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners indicating that the number of nurse practitioners has grown considerably over the past year, and is expected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Many are likely to gravitate toward urgent care, given this industry’s own continued growth. We’re not the only ones to realize the overall trend for NPs, however. State legislatures from coast to coast are taking a …

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New Regs Would Make It Easier for Patient to Access Their Own Health Information

New Regs Would Make It Easier for Patient to Access Their Own Health Information

Sometimes it may seem to patients like it would take an act of Congress for them to obtain their own health records. They might literally get that if new rules proposed by federal health regulators are adopted. Among the issues the draft covers are technology standards meant to unlock digital data in EHRs. One part of the proposal, for example, would empower patients to access all their health information electronically—including the provider’s notes, hospital records, …

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Bill Won’t Limit First-Time Opioid Scripts—But Allows Remote Medication-Assisted Treatment

Bill Won’t Limit First-Time Opioid Scripts—But Allows Remote Medication-Assisted Treatment

Many medical organizations, insurers, and state legislatures have responded to the ongoing opioid crisis by limiting the number of doses prescribed for acute pain at any one time. The bill just passed by the U.S. Senate, however, puts no limits on first-time prescriptions for opiates. That’s in contrast to earlier versions of the bill, which did seek to impose hard limits on opioid prescriptions. The American Medical Association, among other stakeholders, objected to the idea …

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NERUCA Calls on Stakeholders to Fight New Jersey Bill that Would Curb Urgent Care Growth

NERUCA Calls on Stakeholders to Fight New Jersey Bill that Would Curb Urgent Care Growth

Fresh off a successful effort to stop a Massachusetts bill that would have imposed a tax on all urgent care charges, the North East Regional Urgent Care Association (NERUCA) is calling on urgent care providers, operators, and industry advocates to make their voices heard to fight a similarly onerous proposed bill in New Jersey. If passed by state legislators, Assembly Bill A4443 would, NERUCA warns, require annual licensure of urgent care centers; exclude urgent care …

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Update: Massachusetts Urgent Care Tax Bill Dies on the Vine

Update: Massachusetts Urgent Care Tax Bill Dies on the Vine

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been following the progress of a tax bill that would have imposed an 8.75% tax on urgent care charges in Massachusetts. Thanks at least in part to strong lobbying against the bill by the Urgent Care Association and the North East Regional Urgent Care Association (NERUCA), among other concerned parties, the bill was stalled as the legislature’s 2018 General Session came to a close. If the bill had gone …

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Data Paint an Ugly Picture of the Consequences of Provider Burnout

Data Paint an Ugly Picture of the Consequences of Provider Burnout

Physician burnout is at least as dangerous as unsafe workplace conditions when it comes to medical errors, according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In fact, it indicates that physicians with burnout are more than twice as likely to self-report a medical error compared with those without burnout. The potential consequences of that are dramatic; existing data show that med errors are a factor in as many as 200,000 deaths annually in …

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