As Flu Shuts Down an Entire School, Health Officials Recommend Urgent Care Over the ED

As Flu Shuts Down an Entire School, Health Officials Recommend Urgent Care Over the ED

Influenza infections are so rampant in Rexford, NY that an entire elementary school was forced to shut its doors for a day. Student absences were up to 20%, with faculty also calling in sick at such a rate that the school district was hard pressed to find coverage for the students who were in class. Considering that every day sick children and adults walked through the door increased the risk of spreading infection further, the …

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How Measles Forced One School District to Issue an Ultimatum: Get Vaccinated or Stay Home

How Measles Forced One School District to Issue an Ultimatum: Get Vaccinated or Stay Home

Influenza isn’t the only vaccine-preventable disease wreaking havoc on communities across the country. Thirty-one states, from Maine to Hawaii, have seen confirmed cases of measles this year. In Seattle, the threat is seen as so great that the public school system has drawn a line in the sand: If your child hasn’t been vaccinated against measles, they’re not allowed to return to school after the winter holiday break. Days missed as a result will be …

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Urgent Care Operations Can Flourish as Franchises, Too

Urgent Care Operations Can Flourish as Franchises, Too

Ownership structure gets talked about a lot in urgent care circles. Where entrepreneurial physicians essentially created the industry, it wasn’t too long before venture capitalists and health systems wanted in on the action and started gobbling up existing operators. Today those entities dominate. That doesn’t mean there are no other paths to success in the industry, however. The Franchise Times just announced that American Family Care cracked their list of the 200 fastest-growing franchises, coming …

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Managed Care Magazine Readers Are Getting the Lowdown on the ‘Urgent Care Surge’

Managed Care Magazine Readers Are Getting the Lowdown on the ‘Urgent Care Surge’

With the recently proposed prior authorization bill in the news, the magazine Managed Care chose an opportune time to give its readers fresh insights into urgent care. An article in the current issue looks at a few representative New England urgent care markets to illustrate why the marketplace continues to grow, and its relative merits compared with other settings (notably, the emergency room). Urgent Care Association CEO Laurel Stoimenoff, PT, CHC is quoted extensively, as …

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Opioid Crisis Brings Out the Worst in Some Providers, But the Best in Others

Opioid Crisis Brings Out the Worst in Some Providers, But the Best in Others

Awareness of the opioid crisis plaguing the country has risen sufficiently that responsible healthcare providers are realizing where there are opportunities to help—while more nefarious characters prey on those who fall victim to addiction. Just this week federal agencies pounced on 53 medical professionals, leveling charges that they were taking part in illegal prescribing and distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics in Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. All told, they’re alleged to …

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Another Disease Outbreak Strikes in an Antivaccination ‘Hotspot’

Another Disease Outbreak Strikes in an Antivaccination ‘Hotspot’

We’ve told you recently about outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease in communities that are loath to line up for immunizations. Unfortunately, that trend is continuing as a rapidly expanding rash of measles cases has moved health officials in Clark County, WA to declare a public health emergency. The first reported case was tracked back to a single person at nearby Portland (OR) International Airport on January 7. Four days later, a second infected person attended a …

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Urgent Care Reaches Out to Furloughed Federal Employees

Urgent Care Reaches Out to Furloughed Federal Employees

The federal government shutdown is having a very real effect on access to healthcare for many Americans. We told you recently that clinics funded by the Indian Health Service are going without funding, leaving some patients who get their primary care at those facilities out in the cold. On the other side of the coin you’ll see federal workers who aren’t getting paid and may have some tough decisions to make about where their dwindling …

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Update: Measles Cases Jump, This Time in the Northeast

Update: Measles Cases Jump, This Time in the Northeast

A few weeks ago, we warned you about clusters of multiple, vaccine-preventable infection in North Carolina and South Carolina. Add New Jersey and New York to the list of states with communities seeing outbreaks of measles at present. The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed 33 cases of measles in two counties; all three of the cases in one of those counties occurred in the same household, and nine cases confirmed in the other …

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2018 Was the Worst Year Ever for Acute Flaccid Myelitis—and Parents May Be Panicking

2018 Was the Worst Year Ever for Acute Flaccid Myelitis—and Parents May Be Panicking

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) jumped onto the general public’s radar screen in 2018, thanks to the greatest number of cases ever in the U.S. With 10 days left on the calendar for this year, there have been 158 confirmed cases in 36 states. While that’s still a relatively low number, widespread media coverage has made parents acutely aware of the potentially devastating and long-lasting effects, perhaps driving many to visit the local urgent care center when …

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Last Year’s High Death Toll from Flu Partially Explained—and the Data Should Frustrate You

Last Year’s High Death Toll from Flu Partially Explained—and the Data Should Frustrate You

As this year’s influenza season really gets going, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report with some data that should make you sit up and take notice. In fact, it should spur you to action. In a year when flu killed at least 79,000, less than 40% of adults in the United States received the influenza vaccination. The highest death toll in decades coincided with the lowest immunization rate in 7 …

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