Increases in Cost of Care Outpace Income and Overall Spending

Increases in Cost of Care Outpace Income and Overall Spending

A breakdown of consumer spending from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the notion that the high cost of healthcare encourages patients to seek care in less traditional settings like urgent care. Data for 2012–2014, the most current available, show that 19 percent of total healthcare spending is out of pocket—and that figures is still on the rise. With an increase of 20.6%, increases in total spending for healthcare far outpaced income before taxes (up …

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Health Cost Containment Makes for Strange Bedfellows

Health Cost Containment Makes for Strange Bedfellows

HCA is joining with Coca-Cola, Verizon, American Express, and other major companies in diverse industries in a new initiative aimed at stemming skyrocketing healthcare costs. The 20 member companies of the Health Transformation Alliance will pool data on the population health of their workers as a first step toward making “smarter and better decisions” when it comes to employee health plans, according to Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute (which came up …

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Investing in Employee Wellness May Bring Dividends—Literally

Investing in Employee Wellness May Bring Dividends—Literally

Investments in employee wellness programs appear to benefit the companies that make them beyond attracting quality employees; they may actually be linked to higher stock prices, according to data published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Three new peer-reviewed studies looked at the change in stock prices for three portfolios of employers who won awards for their employee wellness programs or who self-scored themselves as having a comprehensive program. In all three cases, …

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The Pros and Cons of Acquiring Accounts Receivables in Urgent Care Transactions

The Pros and Cons of Acquiring Accounts Receivables in Urgent Care Transactions

URGENT MESSAGE: Unlike most retail and service businesses in which customer transactions result in immediate cash in the register, the nature of insurance and government billing in urgent care creates accounts receivable, which can be a complicating factor when buying or selling an urgent care practice. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Practice Management Editor of JUCM—The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, a member of the Board of Directors of the Urgent Care Association of …

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Be Prepared for Post Super Bowl Flu Spike—Especially in Colorado and North Carolina

Be Prepared for Post Super Bowl Flu Spike—Especially in Colorado and North Carolina

Digging into the communal nacho platter at a Super Bowl party could give celebrants a bad case of eater’s remorse—in the form of influenza, especially among the hometown fans of the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. It’s no joke: A new study published in the American Journal of Health Economics reports that the death rate attributed to the flu was significantly higher in regions that Super Bowl teams came from between 1974 and 2009. Researchers …

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UCA Webinar: Taking Measure of Patient Satisfaction

UCA Webinar: Taking Measure of Patient Satisfaction

The key to gaining patient loyalty is ensuring patient satisfaction. But how do you measure that—outside of noticing that you don’t have many repeat visits? One of the earliest and best-regarded entrants into the urgent care market, David Stern, MD, CPC, will suggest approaches in Measuring Patient Satisfaction: Keeping It Simple, a one-hour webinar to be hosted by the Urgent Care Association (UCA) February 18 at 1 p.m., Central. Dr. Stern is CEO of Practice …

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Fighting the Zika Virus (and the Zika Frenzy)

Fighting the Zika Virus (and the Zika Frenzy)

The Zika virus has not had a significant impact on the health of the US population; however, worried patients may still be turning to urgent care providers if they have suspicious symptoms after traveling in affected areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. Still others may have questions about what precautions to take if they have a trip planned. Operators would be wise to be armed with reassuring answers, and to know what to do …

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Medicaid Holdouts Continue to Confound ACA Proponents

Medicaid Holdouts Continue to Confound ACA Proponents

Those who herald the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) as a success continue to be vexed by the six million or so citizens who are eligible for Medicaid but simply don’t sign up for it. Perhaps that should not be surprising, however, given that most people eligible for Medicaid are exempt from having to pay a penalty for being uninsured—one of the ACA’s prime incentives for individuals to get insured—and those eligible can sign …

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Urgent Care Buyers Club Vows to Stay the Course

Urgent Care Buyers Club Vows to Stay the Course

Healthcare corporations continue to deepen their urgent care portfolios through acquisition—and they’re seeing dividends while also planning to continue buying up properties. HCA Holdings welcomed more than a million patients into its ever-expanding urgent care units within the last year—an increase of 500%, according to the company. Having made a number of acquisitions in the urgent care marketplace, as we’ve told you, HCA now has 66 centers in the U.S. The hospital giant has reported …

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Malpractice Magnets—and How to See Them Coming

Malpractice Magnets—and How to See Them Coming

The best indicator of whether a physician is likely to have a malpractice claim made against him—yes, they are disproportionately male—appears to be whether a previous claim has ever been made. In fact, researchers at Stanford report that 1% of doctors are linked to nearly 33% of all paid General surgeons are among the doctors most likely to be the subjects of paid malpractice claims. Further, that group appears to share some distinct characteristics. In …

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