<strong>Visits Are Up, Staffing Is Down—Moving Some UC Operators to Reconsider Telehealth</strong>

Visits Are Up, Staffing Is Down—Moving Some UC Operators to Reconsider Telehealth

A shortage of providers while patient visits climb due to flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID-19 is having a negative impact on multiple practice settings. Compounding the challenge in urgent care is the fact that some patients turn to this setting when they’ve already experienced delays in getting care in primary care, specialty practices, or the emergency room. We’ve told you recently about one urgent care center that’s dealing with the traffic-flow problem by going …

Read More
<strong>Could Opioid Use Disorder Be the Rare Condition Where Telemedicine Works for Urgent Care?</strong>

Could Opioid Use Disorder Be the Rare Condition Where Telemedicine Works for Urgent Care?

Many urgent care operators have tried to introduce telemedicine services as a way to help patients get care when there’s simply no other way. While it did just that for a lot of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, few have found a way to make it work on an ongoing basis. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be instances in which virtual care is a valid and useful option, however. One of those might include treatment …

Read More
Amazon Is Taking Another Run at Drawing Patients with Urgent Care Presentations

Amazon Is Taking Another Run at Drawing Patients with Urgent Care Presentations

Let it never be said that Amazon isn’t persistent in its pursuit of relevance in the U.S. healthcare marketplace. What can be said is that the company has yet to hit on a concept that really works, despite years of trying. The latest effort is Amazon Clinic, which reflects a return to chasing success in the virtual space. (As we reported in August, the company plucked down $3.9 billion to buy One Medical and its …

Read More
Telehealth May Have Its Place—but Follow-Up Care Isn’t It

Telehealth May Have Its Place—but Follow-Up Care Isn’t It

Proponents of telehealth maintain that anything that gets more patients to see a healthcare provider is a step forward. Skeptics counter that there are just too many nuances and observations that can be missed when you’re chatting over electronic devices and not in the presence of the patient. New research published by JAMA Network Open seems to support the latter belief, at least when it comes to follow-up care after a visit to the emergency …

Read More
With COVID-19 Waning, Urgent Care Telehealth May Be at a Crossroad

With COVID-19 Waning, Urgent Care Telehealth May Be at a Crossroad

Historically, telehealth has had a difficult time getting a foothold in urgent care. Some operators have found ways to make it work to their advantage, while many have found it not profitable enough to be a viable component of their business. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that for many as in-person visits tailed off dramatically for a time. Now that COVID is not perceived as a threat on the same level it was, some are questioning …

Read More
Ketamine Is the Latest Drug Being Pushed by Virtual Providers—and Psychiatrists Are Concerned

Ketamine Is the Latest Drug Being Pushed by Virtual Providers—and Psychiatrists Are Concerned

First, ads for erectile dysfunction products available after a quick virtual “evaluation” flooded drivetime radio and social media platforms. Many took a humorous approach. Then spots started taking a darker turn to pitch the benefits of drugs—again, available for individuals specifically seeking a particular treatment—for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. As noted in a recent article from MedPage Today, the latest of those offers access to ketamine, a medication with proven benefits but …

Read More
Congress Opens the Door to Extend Reimbursement for Telehealth Services

Congress Opens the Door to Extend Reimbursement for Telehealth Services

Urgent care operators who offer telehealth services should be aware that the House of Representatives just passed the  Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act. As the name implies, the legislation extends policies initiated to help facilitate access to healthcare as many patients shied away from face-to-face encounters in medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those most applicable in the urgent care setting: Beneficiaries who fall under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can receive …

Read More
Follow-up: The Pandemic Telehealth Spike May Have Been Higher Than You Thought

Follow-up: The Pandemic Telehealth Spike May Have Been Higher Than You Thought

Just last week we told you that shares of telehealth companies were freefalling in the wake of a dip in usage—likely a course correction following the spike in use of remote care during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now FAIR Health has released data revealing just how steep that spike was: In 2020, as utilization fell in emergency rooms (a 30% drop) and urgent care centers (16%), use of telehealth grew 7,000% in …

Read More
Has Telemedicine’s ‘Moment’ Come and Gone?

Has Telemedicine’s ‘Moment’ Come and Gone?

As JUCM News readers may recall, use of telemedicine services has increased dramatically—and fallen precipitously—at various times during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some urgent care operators have tried to ride the wave, while others have continued to act (or not act) based on their skepticism of the medium’s viability in the urgent care setting. Now it appears that the investment community may be weighing in with its collective opinion on the future of …

Read More
Wrong Number? Telemedicine May Actually Increase the Likelihood of Reporting to the ED

Wrong Number? Telemedicine May Actually Increase the Likelihood of Reporting to the ED

Proponents of telemedicine have reasoned that being able to see a healthcare provider virtually is more convenient and less expensive than trudging over to the closest emergency room, where a patient is likely to sit for hours and run up an astronomical bill for something simple like a sore throat. While the latter may be true (as urgent care professionals are well aware), a new study published by JAMA Network Open suggests that telehealth usage …

Read More