Visits to Primary Care Are Down—While Visits to Urgent Care Are on the Rise

Cost, convenience, and quality are features healthcare consumers cherish. The challenge for healthcare consumers is to find a facility that offers all three. While they can certainly find quality care that’s convenient in their local emergency room, the cost for that care is high. A traditional primary care practice is also a good choice for quality care, but while the cost is going to be much lower than in the ED the patient may have …

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That’s Not What Happened! How to Deal with Gaslighting in the Workplace

That’s Not What Happened! How to Deal with Gaslighting in the Workplace

Urgent message: Similar to workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and toxic gossip, gaslighting behaviors result in demoralized workplace cultures, lost business opportunities, and legal liability for urgent care leaders and organizations. Past issues of JUCM have covered the various “axes of workplace evils” including workplace bullying,1 sexual harassment,2 and toxic gossip.3 Not to be mistaken for crude schoolyard behavior, at the heart of these very serious workplace dysfunctions is one person trying to gain an advantage …

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What are The Legal Remedies to Stop Cyberstalking of Your Urgent Care Center?

Urgent message: Social media provides a platform in which patients, who perceive they’re relatively anonymous, can bully or harass a business they feel has “slighted” them. To mitigate the cost of lost reputation and labor in countering online vitriol, urgent care operators need to know their rights and remedies for “cyberstalking.” The customer is always right. Typically, this adage reveals itself when the customer isn’t happy. The customer thinks they know what’s best and that their answer …

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Clearing Up the Confusion in COVID-19 Testing

There are so many options available for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing. How do you know what test is best for your urgent care center? The need for virus testing was and still is paramount in the fight against this COVID-19 pandemic. The American Medical Association introduced new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 87635, “Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19)], amplified probe …

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What Are the Reporting Obligations of Urgent Care Centers for COVID-19 Patients?

What Are the Reporting Obligations of Urgent Care Centers for COVID-19 Patients?

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor for The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.  Urgent message: Many patients are deterred from getting a COVID-19 or antibody test because they fear being added to a government “surveillance list” or harassment (tracing) of their “contacts.” While urgent care centers or their third-party labs are required to report individual test results, they can assure patients that datasets …

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The Myth of ‘Control’ with In-House Billing

We keep our billing in-house so we can control it. I have been in the revenue cycle management (RCM) business for over 25 years and I guess I have heard this quote from people more than a thousand times. Unfortunately, 95% of the time it is just not true! Having your billing staff in the clinic may make you feel better but, in most cases, there is no control at all. It is just a …

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Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Urgent Care: A Game Changer for the Practice—and the Practitioner

Knowledge, wisdom, and passion were key players in my pursuit of a career in medicine. As point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) incorporates both the science and the art of medicine, it has rekindled my passion for medicine, greatly expanding my clinical knowledge. A few weeks ago, a young man presented complaining of 24 hours of shortness of breath and chest pain. His triage painted the picture of a panic attack. After completing the history and physical exam, …

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Urgent Care’s Upward Trend of Rapid Testing Continues for Another Year

Convenience has always been the hallmark of the urgent care experience. A patient who wakes up feeling unwell doesn’t want to wait a few days to see their primary care provider—especially if they have something that requires medication. And the best way to sort that out quickly is with a rapid test. Patients certainly understand that, as the number of rapid tests performed in urgent care centers continues to grow. Interestingly, while the total keeps …

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Dealing with an Epidemic of Information in the Midst of a Pandemic

We are in an unprecedented time in medicine as we face a pandemic of an emerging viral disease spreading rapidly across the world. Information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is also expanding at lightning speed. This leads to an overabundance of information which can alter our decision-making abilities. This editorial will help the reader develop a plan to manage excessive information and misinformation. We’ve all about had it. Too many patients, too many worried well, not …

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Whether by Strain or Drain, COVID-19 Is Hitting Urgent Care Hard

Paradoxically, some urgent care centers are struggling due to low patient volumes during the COVID-19 crisis; patients who aren’t feeling that bad are afraid to venture out to a healthcare facility, while others who fear they could have the virus are heading to the hospital (hopefully, after calling first as recommended). Some operators have chosen to close for a while or consolidate locations. On the other hand, urgent care operators in urban, heavily affected areas …

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