Update: CDC and FDA Confirm Steps Underway to Identify—and Treat—COVID-19

Update: CDC and FDA Confirm Steps Underway to Identify—and Treat—COVID-19

In contrast to premature (and sometimes downright erroneous) mainstream media reports about quick fixes for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have both released reliable information about progress toward corralling the outbreak. First, the FDA has issued an emergency-use authorization for a point-of-care test for emergency use in patients suspected of having COVID-19. The Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test (Cepheid) is intended for use in high- …

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Now Available: JUCM Webinar Flags Key Factors in Identifying COVID-19 in Urgent Care

Now Available: JUCM Webinar Flags Key Factors in Identifying COVID-19 in Urgent Care

With advice on COVID-19 seemingly changing several times a day, it’s essential to not let the volume of information overwhelm your ability to take care of your patients. Recognizing that, JUCM convened a webinar to highlight the utility of chest x-rays, among other methods, to help distinguish patients who have COVID-19 from those who merely have similar symptoms. Speakers Ana Echenique, MD, DABR and Michael Weinstock, MD led a discussion on red flags for the …

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What the Families First Coronavirus Act Means for Urgent Care Operators and Employees

What the Families First Coronavirus Act Means for Urgent Care Operators and Employees

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Senior Editor, Practice Management of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Urgent message:  The Families First Coronavirus Act creates an obligation for small- and medium-sized businesses to pay employees who take time off work for specified reasons caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected employers must be prepared to implement the Act’s leave programs on or before April 2, 2020. Urgent …

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Update: Experity Issues New Guidance on Coding for COVID-19 Services

Update: Experity Issues New Guidance on Coding for COVID-19 Services

Our collective understanding of COVID-19 changes several times a day—as do procedures to ensure your urgent care operation receives the proper reimbursement for the indispensable services you provide. Just last week Experity released what was then new information on proper coding procedures; it’s outdated already, so the company has issued an update. Review it on the JUCM website to ensure you’ll be compensated fully and as efficiently as possible.

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New Data: COVID-19 Has a Median Incubation Period of 5.1 Days

New Data: COVID-19 Has a Median Incubation Period of 5.1 Days

Patients (as well as relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances) have endless questions for urgent care providers about transmission of COVID-19. As the number of cases mounts many are likely to retrace their steps, mentally, to think about whom they’ve been in contact with, and how long ago they may have been around a large group of people. This begs the question, How long do I need to be concerned?, especially if they know someone who has …

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HHS Eases Standards on Protected Health Information Amid COVID-19 Chaos

HHS Eases Standards on Protected Health Information Amid COVID-19 Chaos

Patient confidentiality is rightly one of the cornerstones of the medical profession. If we want patients to be forthcoming, they need to feel confident that they can be completely open with their providers without their most private information being shared. However, when policies designed to protect patients instead become obstacles to administering care it’s time to take a hard look at those policies. That’s exactly what the Department of Health and Human Services has done …

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Updated: Experity Issues Guidance on Optimal Coding for Services Related to COVID-19

COVID-19 has been officially declared a pandemic, and school districts, sporting events, and cultural traditions like St. Patrick’s Day parades are being canceled  in order to lower the risk of transmission among large throngs of people. One thing that goes on, however, is the day-to-day operation of the urgent care center—the only difference being that your work is more essential than ever. Secondary to that, of course, is the need to be properly reimbursed for …

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Free Triage/Texting App Assists in Managing COVID-19 Patient Flow

Concern for both patients and staff has the country’s urgent care professionals leaning heavily on their industry partners for support in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the growing of number of people requesting COVID-19 testing and care, Experity has released a  COVID-19 Check-in Triage, and Texting Application to help clinics manage patient check-in from home or the clinic parking lot, facilitate communication with patients, and assess risk before a patient enters an urgent …

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A Novel Type of ‘Specialty’ Urgent Care Centers Puts Out the Welcome Mat for Addicts

A Novel Type of ‘Specialty’ Urgent Care Centers Puts Out the Welcome Mat for Addicts

Urgent care centers devoted to pediatrics and women’s health are growing in number and appeal around the country. Now an urgent care operator in Boston is trying another niche service using the urgent care model: care for patients addicted to opioids. Working in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (which provided a $2.9 million grant) and the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Medical Center Opioid Urgent Care Center promises to do an …

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Patients Are Considering Whether They Really Need to Visit a Healthcare Facility; Could This Be Telemedicine’s Moment?

Patients Are Considering Whether They Really Need to Visit a Healthcare Facility; Could This Be Telemedicine’s Moment?

It’s typical at some point during the flu season for hospitals to re-emphasize that patients should consider going to an urgent care center if they have symptoms of influenza, reserving the ED for truly emergent cases. The COVID-19 pandemic is taking that dynamic to a whole new level, as urgent care centers themselves are wrestling with ways to provide care without inviting in highly contagious people. This begs the question, is this crisis telemedicine’s time …

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