Employee Confidentiality Cannot Extend to Employment Terms—Including on Social Media

Employee Confidentiality Cannot Extend to Employment Terms—Including on Social Media

Urgent message: Nondisclosure agreements that are commonly required of management and providers to protect a company’s business strategies, intellectual property and human capital generally cannot prohibit employees from sharing their own pay, benefits, working conditions, or conditions of employment even on social media. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is President of Experity Networks and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine Many companies expect and even demand confidentiality of proprietary information. …

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Meet the New Urgent Care Boss—Not the Same as the Old Boss

Back in the day, you probably would have been right to assume that the closest urgent care center was founded, owned, and run by a physician. Many other practices (primary care, pediatric…) would have been the same. Well, times have changed in a big way. The mavericks who simply wanted to find a better, more sensible way of practicing medicine and wound up creating a new industry are now employees of national and regional health …

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What the #$%^ is happening with EM Coding and Reimbursement?! – Part II

In the May issue of JUCM, we outlined what we were seeing with E/M coding levels utilizing the new AMA guidelines vs 2020 and 2019 levels. As COVID-19 visits steadily declined from January through June, we began to see a return to more “normal” urgent care visits. That was short-lived. July’s sharp increase in visit volumes was again driven by COVID-19! Here’s the update we promised. As a reminder, we saw E/M levels decline in …

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Credentialing: Why Should I Hire a Professional?

In the words of Red Adair, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Credentialing dictates how you bill. Do I bill as a group? Should I credential my nonphysician practitioners (NPP)? Which place of service (POS) should I bill with based on my contract? These are all important questions. Did you know that in April of this year, an urgent care chain reached …

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An Ominous Trend For Urgent Care

An Ominous Trend For Urgent Care

To My Colleagues: I am writing to alert you to an ominous and pernicious trend in our industry that we must collectively address or we will face marginalization or even extinction in the years ahead. This may sound alarmist, but please hear me out. I opened my first clinic in 1987 when “urgent care” was barely a recognized term. I was there when the Urgent Care Association (at that time known as the Urgent Care …

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The Nuances of Age Discrimination

The Nuances of Age Discrimination

Urgent message: As the United States learns to support an aging workforce, understanding the nuances of age discrimination can help urgent care practices to be fair and diverse workplaces that avoid potential legal pitfalls. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Senior Editor, Practice Management of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and is President of Experity Networks “Lori’s been here since dinosaurs roamed the earth—she’ll know where it’s at.”1 That type of comment may land …

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Telemedicine Still Struggles to Catch on in Urgent Care

Some urgent care insiders view telemedicine as a natural fit for our industry—an opportunity to give patients even more convenient access to competent healthcare providers, thereby increasing engagement and resulting in more care for more patients. Others just don’t see how it would be applicable, or fear that remote visits could result in overprescribing (especially for antibiotics and pain medications). Judging from data just released through the Urgent Care Associations 2021 Summer Benchmarking Report, widespread …

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Can I Bill Patients for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration?

As practices start offering vaccinations for COVID-19 to their patients, we are getting a lot of questions about whether the patient can be billed for the administration. The answer is an emphatic No. The Office of the Inspector General has received complaints from patients about charges by providers when getting their COVID-19 vaccines. So, on April 15, 2021, the Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi A. Grimm issued a message regarding provider compliance with the COVID-19 …

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What Does a Hybrid Workforce Look Like for Urgent Care?

What Does a Hybrid Workforce Look Like for Urgent Care?

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and is President of Experity Networks. Urgent message: As COVID-19 has enabled many non-patient-facing employees to work from home, now urgent care operators must grapple with returning some of those employees to the office or otherwise managing a “hybrid” workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every facet of daily life. Although its impact on the world of medicine is …

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Millennials Are Drifting Away from Primary Care—Just as They Need a Physician Most

There’s no gentle way to put it: Members of the Millennial generation simply are not as interested in having a traditional relationship with a primary care provider as their predecessors have been. That shouldn’t be surprising, though, given that each successive generation seems to drift farther from that model of care. Where 82% of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) report having a primary care provider, the same can be said for only …

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