How Urgent Care is the Antidote to Traditional Doctors’ Offices

How Urgent Care is the Antidote to Traditional Doctors’ Offices

Urgent message: Changing consumer expectations have led experts to question the future viability of “traditional” doctors’ offices, but urgent care provides a model for shifting from “caregiver-focused” to “patient-centric” care. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. In the not-so-distant future of healthcare, the familiar query Is the doctor in? could very well be met with a …

Read More

Urgent Care Visits Go Up (and Up, and Up) While Costs Remain Low vs the ED

The key question posed by the authors of an article published last month in JAMA Internal Medicine: How have patterns of care for low-acuity patients with acute conditions changed over time among a commercially insured population? The answer is, quite a lot—due largely (and much to the benefit of) urgent care. Working from 2008–2015 claims data supplied by Aetna, the researchers looked at utilization, inflation-adjusted price, and spending associated with approximately 20 million acute care …

Read More

Small Errors Could Cost Big Bucks When Billing for I&D

Q: While reviewing charts where incision and drainage (I&D) procedures were being performed, I came across instances where Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 10060, “Incision and drainage of abscess (eg, carbuncle, suppurative hidradenitis, cutaneous or subcutaneous abscess, cyst, furuncle, or paronychia); simple or single” was billed for treatment of an abscess on the finger. I believe this is an error, since this procedure involved an abscess of the finger pad and not just paronychia. Can …

Read More

Animals Used for Medical and Support Assistance in the Urgent Care Setting

  Urgent message: Urgent care providers must be prepared to address the increasing presence of dogs and other animals used for either support or comfort by patients and/or employees. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.   Introduction Animals used for medical and emotional support assistance are commonly seen in the workplace. This includes dogs that assist …

Read More

HIPAA-Compliant Disclosure in Workers’ Compensation

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.   Urgent message:  While a workers’ compensation carrier may want to see a patient’s entire medical record, claiming that such is compliant with HIPAA as the “minimum necessary information to get paid,” urgent care providers should reasonably limit the health information released to the “minimum necessary to accomplish the workers’ …

Read More
Building Ethical Organizations and Teams

Building Ethical Organizations and Teams

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine   Urgent message: As consumers pay closer attention to the ethical behaviors of the companies they do business with, the topic of workplace ethics has garnered renewed interest. Hence, the urgent care operator who makes a concerted effort to build an ethical workplace culture lays the groundwork for patient loyalty, …

Read More

Taking the Occupational Medicine History

Max Lebow, MD, MPH, FACEP, FACPM   Urgent message: A thorough, occupational medicine-specific history is essential to identifying and resolving work-related injuries and illnesses quickly and safely—for the benefit of the patient and the employer.   Like any medical history, the occupational medicine history is meant to guide the clinician to the proper diagnosis and treatment for the patient. However, it is set apart from the “typical” history in that several other goals must be …

Read More

2019 International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) Codes

October 1, 2018 will bring 279 new codes to ICD-10-CM. Combined with 51 deactivated codes (and 143 revised codes), that brings the total number of ICD-10-CM codes to 71,932. We identified a few examples that are especially important for urgent care coders to be aware of; a complete list of ICD-10-CM changes can be found on the CMS website at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/2019-ICD-10-CM.html.   Chapter 2: Neoplasms (C00-D49) Melanoma and other malignant neoplasms of the skin The …

Read More

Warning: The Future of Patient Engagement May Require Straying Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Urgent care has faced many challenges since its inception—starting with trying to get healthcare consumers and insurers to understand what it has to offer that’s different from a traditional primary care practice or the emergency room. Through true market evolution—we’re talking Darwin, here—that hurdle has helped separate the wannabes from the real innovators. The latter came to grasp that a patient-friendly approach would be one obvious attribute that could keep waiting rooms full and good …

Read More

Urgent Care Ownership: Corporations on the Rise, Physicians and Hospitals on the Decline

The urgent care industry—always revolutionary compared with other practice settings—is undergoing a revolution of its own. First, entrepreneurial physicians ruled the roost (recall the much-maligned and unfairly categorized “doc in a box”). Then, hospitals figured out they were missing the boat on the practice and financial benefits of the urgent care approach and began acquiring or building their own urgent care centers. As of 2016, though, corporate ownership is most prevalent, followed by physician and …

Read More