Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans Look to Extend Reach into Primary Care and Urgent Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans Look to Extend Reach into Primary Care and Urgent Care

Working with healthcare giant Sanitas USA, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BC/BS) plans in numerous states are opening up primary care clinics that further complicate the competitive landscape occupied by urgent care, retail clinics, hospital systems, and traditional medical practices. The partnership already operates such practices in several markets in Florida and New Jersey, both of which may be expanding. Next on the horizon are plans to work with Health Care Services Corp., which owns BC/BS …

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More Insured Americans (and More ED Visits) Since the Advent of ‘Affordable Care’

More Insured Americans (and More ED Visits) Since the Advent of ‘Affordable Care’

The stated intention of the Affordable Care Act was to move the U.S. to a nation in which healthcare insurance was available to every citizen. Part of the subtext for its effect on the healthcare system was that if everyone had access to traditional health insurance, more people would engage in preventive healthcare, leading to lower need for emergency room visits and associated costs. That cause-and-effect has yet to be realized, however. While 20 million …

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Online Review Sites May Be Driving More Patients to Visit a Practice—Is Yours One of Them?

Online Review Sites May Be Driving More Patients to Visit a Practice—Is Yours One of Them?

Urgent care has benefited from (or perhaps driven) the trend of patients wanting to see a qualified provider the same day they need to, without an appointment. Going hand-in-hand with that is the need to find such a provider. Enter social media. When people post a review on Yelp! or gift an urgent care center with a “like” on its Facebook page, people notice—and may be more inclined to visit that location. A new study …

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As Summer Approaches, Be on the Lookout for Seasonal Outreach Possibilities

As Summer Approaches, Be on the Lookout for Seasonal Outreach Possibilities

As even the most frigid regions of the continental U.S. embrace spring and look forward to warmer weather, the time is right to start thinking about what that means to your urgent care operation. Besides seeing more warm-weather injuries and illnesses, as well as an influx of patients who are just passing through your community on vacation, there are seasonal opportunities to raise awareness of your business and reach people who may have been hibernating …

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A Peek Inside Urgent Care Acquisitions—from the Hospital Side

A Peek Inside Urgent Care Acquisitions—from the Hospital Side

JUCM (both the journal and in this newsletter) is full of information and news about current trends in urgent care acquisitions and mergers. The Urgent Care Association’s newsletter is, too, and if you attended the recent UCA convention you heard plenty about how health systems are buying up small, and even not-so-small, urgent care operations. Some perceive that big health systems are gobbling up urgent care centers as an investment or in the spirit of, …

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Walgreens Tries Wading Deeper into Primary Care

Walgreens Tries Wading Deeper into Primary Care

JUCM News readers know Walgreens has been making inroads toward urgent care by partnering with MedExpress in select locations. Now comes word that the chain drugstore giant is working with VillageMD to offer primary care for adults at five locations in the Houston area. By the end of this year, the plan is to start opening VillageMD primary care clinics next to existing Walgreens stores. Each will be called Village Medical at Walgreens, offering primary …

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Business Insider Sums Up the Ongoing Rise of the Urgent Care Market

Business Insider Sums Up the Ongoing Rise of the Urgent Care Market

If you’re reading this, then the fact that urgent care as a distinct practice setting has been on a steady growth trajectory for years isn’t news. It may be more so for readers of Business Insider magazine, however. They know now, though, thanks to a new article that uses data from the current Urgent Care Association Benchmarking Report to illustrate both the growth of the industry and the services patients are most likely to find …

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New Data Show Urgent Care Usage Continues to Grow Faster Than Retail or ED

New Data Show Urgent Care Usage Continues to Grow Faster Than Retail or ED

If fresh data revealed in a new white paper from FAIR Health are any indication, patients and payers are really getting the message that urgent care is often the best alternative for immediate healthcare needs. From 2016 to 2017, overall utilization of urgent care centers grew 14%, double the increase in usage of retail clinics (7%) and sevenfold more than the growth in use of emergency rooms (2%). Retail did outpace urgent care in a …

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WellStar Gains Locations Metro Atlanta—and Attention Along with Them

WellStar Gains Locations Metro Atlanta—and Attention Along with Them

WellStar Health System increased its urgent care center by one-third in a single day, with the announcement that it bought five facilities from Medpost Urgent Care, all in the Atlanta area. WellStar now operates 15 urgent care locations. The system took advantage of the attention local media gave the deal by spelling out the services it (and most urgent care centers) are able to provide on a walk-in basis, including not only assessment and treatment …

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Post Megadeals, Pharmacy Giants May Be Looking More Closely at Urgent Care

Post Megadeals, Pharmacy Giants May Be Looking More Closely at Urgent Care

Walgreens’ partnership with MedExpress and CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna have some analysts wondering if the drugstore kingpins might up their clinical game and try to enter the urgent care marketplace in a substantive way, according to a new article in Forbes magazine. As we’ve told you, Walgreens is already running a pilot program with MedExpress to operate urgent care centers in 15 drugstores in Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. In each location, …

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