Urgent Care Operators Are Taking a Divide-and-Conquer Approach to COVID-19 Demands

Urgent Care Operators Are Taking a Divide-and-Conquer Approach to COVID-19 Demands

Business as usual is no longer an option for healthcare providers, including those who practice urgent care medicine. Whether your practice is seeing an influx of patients concerned that they’ve been infected with COVID-19 or not, it’s likely there are facilities in your area that are struggling under the weight of too many individuals seeking testing or treatment for the virus. A number of urgent care operators have adapted daily practices to meet the ever-changing …

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Radiology Is Becoming a Bigger Draw for Urgent Care Patients

Radiology Is Becoming a Bigger Draw for Urgent Care Patients

Widespread ability of imaging services was a big step forward for the urgent care industry. Patients appreciate it, too—so much so that quicker access to x-rays and the like has become not just an expectation but an attraction for patients weighing their options for immediate care, according to Urgent Care Quarterly, a new industry resource produced by Experity. In An Analysis of the Impact of Radiology in the Urgent Care Industry, UCQ notes that 10.7% …

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Consumerism: It’s Not Just for Urgent Care Anymore

Consumerism: It’s Not Just for Urgent Care Anymore

Traditional primary care practices may soon start to operate more like urgent care centers. Some won’t, of course, and may face economic consequences if an article recently published in The American Journal of Managed Care is any indication. Specifically, the authors suggest, a consumer-friendly approach more closely associated with retail businesses will be necessary in order to appeal to younger patient groups. The piece cautions senior management against making too many changes too quickly, however, …

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Miss Feeling Connected to Patients? Try to Develop These Five Habits

Miss Feeling Connected to Patients? Try to Develop These Five Habits

It’s not news that clinicians have precious little time to spend face-to-face with patients—minimizing one of the things that drew them to practice medicine to begin with. Dissatisfaction and burnout can follow. A study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that fostering certain habits “may enhance physician presence and meaningful connection with patients,” however. Based on a literature review and interviews with clinicians at an academic medical center, a Veterans …

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E-911 ‘Triage’ Initiative Would Channel Many ED-Bound Patients to Urgent Care

E-911 ‘Triage’ Initiative Would Channel Many ED-Bound Patients to Urgent Care

Urgent care figures prominently in one Florida county’s efforts to curb excessive emergency room spending while also educating patients on how to choose the best setting for what ails them. A review of their 2018–2019 fiscal year told Volusia County, Florida officials that residents had an expensive habit: calling 911 when they didn’t have a way to get to a doctor’s office or going to the emergency room for relatively minor illness and injuries. The …

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Primary Care Access is Waning; Those Patients Should Be Coming to Your Urgent Care Center

Primary Care Access is Waning; Those Patients Should Be Coming to Your Urgent Care Center

What has been mostly anecdotal over the past several years has now been confirmed by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Fewer patients than ever are going to traditional primary care practices, meaning their patronage is up for grabs. Between 2002 and 2015, there was a 2% drop in the number of patients who have an established primary care provider. While younger patients, people of color, …

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More Patients Slip Sliding Away—into the Urgent Care Center

More Patients Slip Sliding Away—into the Urgent Care Center

With the advent of holiday cheer and office parties comes the resurgence of cold-weather injuries, many of which will present to urgent care centers. In addition to ensuring staff and inventories are suitably prepared, some urgent care operators are also reaching out to the public with advice on avoiding injury—but also with the subtle message that their clinic is prepared to treat them at a moment’s notice. American Family Care, for example, got news stories …

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New AMA Guidance Could Help You Appeal to More LGBTQ Patients

New AMA Guidance Could Help You Appeal to More LGBTQ Patients

Patients who identify as lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, or queer are often underserved when it comes to healthcare. The reasons are many, and include the (often well-founded) perception that they will not be treated with respect; that most healthcare providers are not well-versed in issues particular to the LBGTQ population; and that even the forms all patients have to fill out fail to recognize their gender identity. The American Medical Association is taking steps toward …

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Happy Thanksgiving! Now Please Pass the Salmonella

Happy Thanksgiving! Now Please Pass the Salmonella

Joyous (or even politically charged) family get-togethers are a holiday tradition for most Americans. Some holidays are also occasions for more inherent risk than others, however, with Thanksgiving near the top of the list of the most potentially dangerous. Whether it’s Uncle Ned trying out his new electric carving knife after one too many cocktails or an undercooked turkey carrying Salmonella—something the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns about annually—people in your community are …

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Want More Time with Patients—and to Be Compensated for It? CMS Might Have That

Want More Time with Patients—and to Be Compensated for It? CMS Might Have That

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has finalized a rule intended to ease cumbersome—and time-consuming—billing and coding requirements and increase reimbursements for services clinicians are already providing (such as those related to certain chronic illnesses). At the heart of the new system is an overhaul of the Evaluation and Management structure, which was designed and implemented in the mid-1990s, before the explosion of urgent care, widespread use of electronic health records, and secure data …

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