Government May Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccine—but How Many Are Willing to Get It?

Government May Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccine—but How Many Are Willing to Get It?

Johnson & Johnson just announced that it has begun Phase 3 of its coronavirus vaccine trial. It’s the fourth company to do so. Whichever of the vaccines is deemed safe and effective, the federal government says it wants to offer free vaccination to all Americans. Federal health agencies and the Department of Defense are already strategizing how to get it done; in a report to Congress, they say the plan could be ready to implement …

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CDC: Easing Restrictions, Presence of Meat Plants Mark Some Locales as ‘Areas of Concern’ for New COVID-19 Spread

CDC: Easing Restrictions, Presence of Meat Plants Mark Some Locales as ‘Areas of Concern’ for New COVID-19 Spread

Now that many parts of the country are allowing certain businesses to open their doors—albeit with some restrictions, such as outdoor seating in a restaurant—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is identifying “areas of concern” for new spread of COVID-19. They include states that may have eased restrictions too much and too soon (Florida and Alabama being two named by the CDC, though specific counties in Iowa, Nebraska, Louisiana, and Virginia were also called …

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‘Flu Kills More People’ Safety Net Regarding COVID-19 Is Starting to Crumble

‘Flu Kills More People’ Safety Net Regarding COVID-19 Is Starting to Crumble

In spite of a nearly constant flow of information from mainstream media, federal officials, and local health departments, some individuals continue to dismiss the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic because “more people die of the flu every year.” Unfortunately, that belief is starting to be disproven in some parts of the U.S. Indiana, for one, confirmed that its death rate due to COVID-19 in just a 4-week period exceeded the state’s 5-year average for annual …

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CMS: Urgent Care Centers Are OK as Destinations for Ambulance Transport During Pandemic

CMS: Urgent Care Centers Are OK as Destinations for Ambulance Transport During Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has broadened the array of acceptable destinations for ambulance transport—with urgent care centers prominent among those destinations. If transport to a hospital emergency room is not medically appropriate because of conditions at that hospital, for example, ambulances can bring patients to an urgent care center, community mental health center, federally qualified health center, physician’s office, ambulatory surgery center, or any location providing …

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Is Florida Looking to Cast Pharmacists as Primary Care Providers?

Is Florida Looking to Cast Pharmacists as Primary Care Providers?

We told you recently about pending legislation in Virginia that would enable pharmacists to prescribe—not just dispense—medications for certain conditions, such as strep throat and influenza. Now comes news that Florida is working on legislation, Senate Bill 714, that would empower pharmacists to essentially conduct a primary care provider-style patient visit for flu. If it becomes law, a patient with flu-like symptoms could go to a drugstore, be given an instant lab test in the …

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An Update on COVID-19 from JUCM

An Update on COVID-19 from JUCM

Over the past few days, the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention and various state health departments have released details about a growing number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. The general public has been attentive to local and national media coverage on the subject, with many taking to social media to express concern and to conjecture about how serious the threat may be in their areas. Unfortunately, much of that “conjecture” feeds an …

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How One Urgent Care Center Dealt with a COVID-19 Scare—and Was Commended by the Health Department

How One Urgent Care Center Dealt with a COVID-19 Scare—and Was Commended by the Health Department

An abundance of caution and a strong effort to keep the community informed drew praise for Open Door Urgent Care from the Delaware County (Indiana) Health Department recently. When a patient presented with symptoms that could have indicated COVID-19 infection, management made the decision to close up shop while providers ran through the screening protocol recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To head off the rumor mill—and any potential for resultant panic—Open …

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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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