When Even the Low Coast of Urgent Care is Too Much for Some Patients

When Even the Low Coast of Urgent Care is Too Much for Some Patients

One of the key attributes of urgent care is that the cost is lower than patients would face in the emergency room—which is a benefit not only for them, but for their insurers. Even so, the cost may be too high for some lower income patients, especially those who don’t have insurance or can come up with the copay. You may have a better option than either turning them away or eating the cost, however. …

Read More
Nurse Practitioner Pool Continues to Explode; How Many Are Headed for Urgent Care?

Nurse Practitioner Pool Continues to Explode; How Many Are Headed for Urgent Care?

There are roughly 22,000 more nurse practitioners in the United States than there were a year ago—and new data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners indicate the number will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, further suggesting there could be massive growth opportunities in urgent care. Right now, 24% of current NPs say they belong to a private practice; 14% work in hospital outpatient clinics, with another 12% in inpatient hospital units; 8% …

Read More
How to Ratchet Down Volatile Situations in the Urgent Care Center

How to Ratchet Down Volatile Situations in the Urgent Care Center

Some 25% of nurses have reported being assaulted by a patient or a patient’s family member while on the job, according to a study published in the American Journal of Nursing. Risk is greatest in the emergency, geriatric, and psychiatric settings—all of which overlap with the urgent care patient population. Now The Joint Commission has issued a report that offers advice on de-escalating tense situations that could turn violent in a flash. Quick Safety, Issue …

Read More
Urgent Care Center Is Unwittingly—and Innocently—at the Center of Insurance Fraud Case

Urgent Care Center Is Unwittingly—and Innocently—at the Center of Insurance Fraud Case

In October, we shared the story of of a white mother who said an urgent care center refused to believe the little black girl with her was her daughter, despite her insistence that she had in fact adopted the girl; consequently, the girl was refused care and the urgent care center received a ton of negative attention. Now another urgent care center has been caught up in case on the flipside—treating a child who was …

Read More
Making ‘Nice’ Can Make a Difference in Patient Outcomes

Making ‘Nice’ Can Make a Difference in Patient Outcomes

In the information age, images of the kindly, benevolent physician may conjure up quaint memories of Marcus Welby, but an article just published in The New York Times suggests that the simple act of being nice to patients can improve the prospects for positive outcomes. Authored by a pair of social psychologists from Stanford University, the piece maintains that a warm, reassuring approach to patient interactions, especially when discussing their health, can actually help symptoms …

Read More
How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Some Urgent Care Centers

How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Some Urgent Care Centers

The federal government shutdown could cause both minor inconveniences and major problems for urgent care operations, depending on how long it drags on. It’s unclear how well the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be running if workers are off the job for a while, for example. And urgent care operators who provide occupational medicine services to government customers could see diminished business. Some urgent care centers might also end up benefiting from the …

Read More
What Can Traditional Urgent Care Learn from ZoomCare’s Ongoing Evolution?

What Can Traditional Urgent Care Learn from ZoomCare’s Ongoing Evolution?

The acquisition of ZoomCare by PeaceHealth brings what was predicted to be a retail-style phenomenon under the umbrella of a relatively traditional hospital system. The irony is that ZoomCare was in need of cash despite offering a practice model designed to appeal to millennial patients (the largest segment of the U.S. population today), but is still an appealing property to a regional hospital powerhouse. One of the key values is presumed to be access and …

Read More
Beware the Effects of Sleep Aids on Your Clinicians

Beware the Effects of Sleep Aids on Your Clinicians

The deleterious effects of sleep deprivation have been demonstrated in innumerable clinical studies. As such, its effects on clinicians charged with treating patients is beyond question. What is in question, however, is whether the effects of inadequate rest are matched (or even surpassed) by the effects of sleep aids on healthcare providers—including urgent care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Research published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine suggests it’s a question that needs answering—and …

Read More
Improving Patient–Provider Communication Can Also Improve Antibiotic Stewardship

Improving Patient–Provider Communication Can Also Improve Antibiotic Stewardship

It’s a nearly constant battle: Patients insist on a prescription for an antibiotic even though it’s not indicated, putting prescribers in the unenviable position of either complying with an unreasonable and possibly dangerous demand or doing the right thing and incurring the unsatisfied patient’s wrath (possibly including poor ratings and complaints online). A new post on PatientEngagementHIT suggests that focusing on better communication between provider and patient could go a long way toward resolving such …

Read More
Tis the Season—for More Trips to Urgent Care and the ED

Tis the Season—for More Trips to Urgent Care and the ED

Constant distractions, overindulging in alcohol, the potential for slick driving conditions, and other seasonal risks add up to greater likelihood of injury and illness at this time of year—making for an estimated increase of 10% to 15% in trips to urgent care centers and emergency rooms, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Holiday decorating alone accounts for roughly 15,000 trips to the ED. Further, many people spend the holidays far from home—and far away …

Read More