Practice Management

Urgent care insiders know our industry continues to grow and evolve, and understand that convenience, cost, and quality of care are what keeps patients coming back. Data from outside the industry diving a bit deeper into the “why” of patient volume has been a bit scarce, however. A Harris Poll commissioned by Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania takes a step toward remedying that shortage, however. Not surprisingly, a strong majority (66%) of the 1,700 U.S. adults who took part in the survey said they would seek care from anRead More
Q: Do you have information on the 2017-2018 influenza vaccine codes? A: The American Medical Association (AMA) recently published a list of new and revised vaccine codes on their website (https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/public/cpt/vaccine-long-desc-july-2017.pdf). These codes will be published in the 2018 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) manual. The two new influenza vaccines on the list are: 90682, “Influenza virus vaccine, quadrivalent (RIV4), derived from recombinant DNA, hemagglutinin (HA) protein only, preservative and antibiotic free, for intramuscular use” 90756, “Influenza virus vaccine, quadrivalent (ccIIV4), derived from cell cultures, subunit, antibiotic free, 0.5 mL dosage,Read More
Urgent message: Urgent care centers must use all reasonable efforts to comply with informed-consent and consent-to-minors laws. This should include consulting with legal counsel on the specific laws of the state and developing protocols to shield the center from possible litigation. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Introduction Medical practices like urgent care centers are generally required to obtain patient consent for treatment in nonemergency situations. However, what constitutesRead More
Urgent message: Urgent care centers exist to help people who need to see a healthcare professional today. When that need coincides with a natural or manmade disaster, every location must have a plan of action to ensure any downtime is minimal, staff needs are met, and the business is able to survive. Introduction No region of the country—for that matter, no state, town, neighborhood, or block—is immune from disabling disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, forest fires, earthquakes, even lightning strikes don’t care whether yours is a single location owned by theRead More
Urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine services should be aware that new guidelines for federal workplaces include mandatory screening for four relatively common opioid pain medications. As of October 1, employee drug tests must include screens for oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says this will mainly affect some 400,000 federal employees with public health, public safety, and national security responsibilities. Positive results that are not attributed to a legitimate prescription are to be reported to the worker’s federal agency. MoreRead More
In this issue of JUCM, we inaugurate a new focus on treating children in the urgent care center. This will manifest in the form of semiregular articles by clinicians who’ve made the commitment to focus on pediatric urgent care. The first, Approach to the Child with Chest Pain, appears on page XX. We are not alone in recognizing that urgent care is ideally suited to the treatment of children whose presenting symptoms don’t warrant a trip to the emergency room, but whose caregivers recognize they have to be seen todayRead More
Q: What can we bill for when we give a patient a nebulizer treatment for an acute airway obstruction during an exacerbation of asthma, or wheezing due to an upper respiratory ailment? A: You can bill for the service and the medication. However, depending on the payer rules, the medication might be bundled into the service. Time is a factor when billing the service. If the treatment is less than 1 hour, you would bill Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 94640, “Pressurized or non-pressurized inhalation treatment for acute airway obstructionRead More
Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Practice Velocity, LLC and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Urgent Message: As urgent care expands into traditional retail space, it’s important to understand the obligations of leases that require tenants to act as property “owners” responsible for all taxes, utilities, and maintenance of the real estate. While the defining characteristic of urgent care facilities across the country is the offer of convenient walk-in (no appointment) care with extended hours of operation, researchRead More