End of 2018 Saw More Health Systems Pour Money into Urgent Care Offerings

End of 2018 Saw More Health Systems Pour Money into Urgent Care Offerings

Feeling the pressure to improve outcomes while simultaneously cutting costs, an ever-growing number of hospitals and health systems are investing heavily in urgent care. Of particular note are four health systems that splurged in the fourth quarter of 2018. Becker’s Hospital Review highlighted the following in a recent post: San Francisco-based Dignity Health partnered with GoHealth Urgent Care to buy six urgent care centers operated by Golden State Urgent care. McLaren Health Care, in Grand …

Read More
Texas AARP Raises the Alarm on Freestanding ER Costs vs Urgent Care Centers

Texas AARP Raises the Alarm on Freestanding ER Costs vs Urgent Care Centers

Frequent reports from members who get stuck with surprise bills after visiting a freestanding emergency room have moved the Texas AARP to issue a warning to its members: Make sure you understand the type of facility you’re visiting, and verify what the cost of your care is likely to be, before you receive care. The problem, the organization says, is that many people walk into a freestanding ED thinking it’s actually an urgent care center—with …

Read More
US News & World Report Analyzes the ‘Meteoric’ Growth of Urgent Care

US News & World Report Analyzes the ‘Meteoric’ Growth of Urgent Care

Recognizing what you’ve known for years—that the appeal of urgent care to the U.S. patient population continues to grow, with no signs of diminishing—US News & World Report turned its attention to why that’s the case in a recent issue. Calling the rise of urgent care “meteoric,” the article calls out three primary factors—accessibility and convenience, cost savings, and array of services—as chiefly responsible for drawing more patients every year, with the number of facilities …

Read More
FastMed–NextCare Merger Would Bring 251 Locations Under One Umbrella

FastMed–NextCare Merger Would Bring 251 Locations Under One Umbrella

FastMed Urgent Care and NextCare Holdings, Inc. have announced plans to join forces in a merger that would create a company with 251 urgent care centers in 10 states. Under the terms of the agreement, Urgent Care Holdings of America, LLC, doing business as FastMed Urgent Care, would acquire 100% of NextCare Holdings, Inc. If it’s approved, closing is expected to come within the next 60 days. As a standalone company, FastMed owns and operates …

Read More
MinuteClinic Goes Virtual in its 16th State—and CVS Says They’ll Reach the Rest by Year’s End

MinuteClinic Goes Virtual in its 16th State—and CVS Says They’ll Reach the Rest by Year’s End

CVS Health’s MinuteClinic unit just started providing virtual healthcare in Nebraska, bringing the number of states in which patients can be seen without visiting one of its clinics to 16. MinuteClinic Video Visits are now available 24/7 using any mobile device. The company charges a flat fee of $59 for the “visit,” payable via credit card or debit card, but CVS says patients will be able to start using their insurance to cover the cost …

Read More
NEJM Catalyst: Urgent Care is a Key ‘Disruptor’ of Primary Care

NEJM Catalyst: Urgent Care is a Key ‘Disruptor’ of Primary Care

Starting with the premise that “primary care is at the vortex of massive changes driven by cost-control pressures and reimbursement transformation,” an article in NEJM Catalyst proceeds to explain that urgent care is a key disrupter of primary care as we know it. In essence, the authors argue that the requirements imposed on primary care practices are in conflict with patient preferences, leaving the primary care field in a no-win situation. In regard to the …

Read More
The ED and Urgent Care World According to Yelp

The ED and Urgent Care World According to Yelp

Urgent care centers deliver a higher level of service than emergency rooms, though some patients perceive that the ED offers a higher level of care, according to a report from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The data reflect analysis of five-star and one-star Yelp reviews (the highest and lowest scores, respectively) for urgent care centers and EDs. Patients giving five stars after a visit to the ED valued …

Read More
Urgent Care Operator Ochsner Dials Up American Well for App-Based, DTC ‘Anywhere Care’

Urgent Care Operator Ochsner Dials Up American Well for App-Based, DTC ‘Anywhere Care’

Ochsner Health System is taking its commitment to providing telehealth in an urgent care environment one step further by launching Ochsner Anywhere Care, a 24-hour, direct-to-consumer telehealth service it will operate in partnership with American Well. Patients will be able to “see” a provider at any time of day or night through an mHealth app on any enabled mobile device when urgent care needs arise. If follow-up care is needed, the online clinician will refer …

Read More
Could Urgent Care Be the Next Step for CVS, Post Aetna Deal?

Could Urgent Care Be the Next Step for CVS, Post Aetna Deal?

The retail clinic market might not be the only one affected by CVS Health’s union with Aetna. CVS CEO Larry Merlo has been talking about finding ways for his company to work more closely with physicians for the past year or so. With the Aetna all but in the bag, it may not be too long before that possibility manifests with a dive into the urgent care pool, if a new post on the HealthLeaders …

Read More
Urgent Care Group Continues Carolinas Buying Spree

Urgent Care Group Continues Carolinas Buying Spree

You may recall reading here just weeks ago that Urgent Care Group (UCG), backed by a pair of investment firms, was buying seven MEDcare Urgent Care locations in South Carolina. UCG now plans to nearly double that number by acquiring Medac Urgent Care, with its six urgent care centers and one occupational medicine location in North Carolina for an undisclosed sum. UCG has partnered with Capital Alignment Partners and Harbert Management on both deals.

Read More