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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Is Mental Health Urgent Care Ready for Primetime? One Company Is Willing to Find Out

Is Mental Health Urgent Care Ready for Primetime? One Company Is Willing to Find Out

Numerous urgent care centers have dabbled in mental health urgent care over the years, to little positive effect in terms of patient volume or revenue. Times—and marketplaces—change, however. In rural areas, especially, where both medical and mental health providers can be few and far between, the idea of offering a broader array of services that include counseling might work. At least one urgent care operator is making a serious effort to find out if that’s …

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PAs and NPs Are Seeing Lots of Patients; Make Sure Everyone’s on the Same Page

PAs and NPs Are Seeing Lots of Patients; Make Sure Everyone’s on the Same Page

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners, known collectively as advanced practice providers (APPs), are doing a great job administering care to patients in urgent care centers and other settings all over the country. With the worsening physician shortage, their contributions are going to become more and more essential as time goes on. So, it’s more important than ever to ensure that all the clinicians in your urgent care operation are working in concert with each other. …

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Want Good Scores? Forget Giving in to Patient Demands, and Educate Them Instead

Want Good Scores? Forget Giving in to Patient Demands, and Educate Them Instead

Patient satisfaction scores have become something of a currency in the healthcare marketplace. That’s probably truest in urgent care, where patients are making snap decisions on where to go in the next 5 minutes—often guided by Yelp, Google, and even travel sites like Travelocity. It’s so common that fear of bad reviews can creep into your mind and start affecting how you practice. The mainstream media is picking up on that concern, though the coverage …

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Despite the Need and Good Intentions, #MeToo May Have Unintended Consequences

Despite the Need and Good Intentions, #MeToo May Have Unintended Consequences

Legitimate, well-researched news stories have made it clear that sexual harassment, and sometimes even sexual assault, have been pervasive in American workplaces. Healthcare, including urgent care, is not immune. The need to take action to stop it, or at least levy serious consequences on those who commit abuses, is beyond debate. Unfortunately, however, even righteous causes sometimes have unintended consequences. An article just published in the Harvard Business Review reports a growing backlash against #MeToo, …

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Want to Bring in More Millennial Patients? Here’s How

Want to Bring in More Millennial Patients? Here’s How

Like every generation, Millennials (defined as Americans born between 1981 and 1996) are inclined to share certain preferences and characteristics that might seem out-of-step with other generations. The thing is, Millennials will become the largest demographic segment of the U.S. population this year, according to Pew Research. So, at this point, consider they might not be the ones who are “out of step” if you view those preferences as counter to the way you do …

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A Call for Clinicians to Up Their Social Media Game—for the Safety of Their Patients

A Call for Clinicians to Up Their Social Media Game—for the Safety of Their Patients

If you needed any more proof that we as a society—including the urgent care industry—are firmly entrenched in the internet age, here it is: A prestigious academic health system has appointed its first chief medical social media officer. As noted in an article recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard-trained gastroenterologist Austin Chiang, MD is now tasked with helping Jefferson Health/Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia stay on point with a …

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It’s Festival Season—Are You Ready to Treat the Revelers?

It’s Festival Season—Are You Ready to Treat the Revelers?

As summer winds down, local chambers of commerce are trying to squeeze in end-of-season festivals dedicated to every type of food, music, and ethnic group imaginable. It’s prime time for major national events like the just-concluded Sturgis (SD) Motorcycle Rally, too. In the latter case, area healthcare facilities have learned they need extra staff on hand to treat bikers and onlookers who flood the town ever year; last year, local healthcare facilities saw 610 rally-related …

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Hurricane Barry Shut Down Urgent Care Centers—a Reminder That You Need a Disaster Plan

Hurricane Barry Shut Down Urgent Care Centers—a Reminder That You Need a Disaster Plan

As predictions of high winds and flooding made headlines over the weekend, Louisiana urgent care centers who expected to see the brunt of the storm did their best to spread the word that they’d be closing up shop until the most dangerous conditions subsided. Local media carried reports of what healthcare facilities in general would be accessible, and operations such as Lafayette General Health got the word out through social media, as well, including updates …

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Listen to Millennials: They’ll Tell You How to Reach Them

Listen to Millennials: They’ll Tell You How to Reach Them

It may seem deceptively simple, but the fact is that millennials (generally, Americans born between 1981 and 1996) tend to approach their business dealings—which includes healthcare choices, in their view—from a tech-savvy perspective because they’re the first generation to grow up with easy access to computers, and the internet specifically. That goes down to how they make decisions on which healthcare settings to visit when they or their families (yes, millennials are even having children) …

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