Practice Management

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: To move patients through the center quickly, urgent care demands near-constant communication among providers and staff. Eliminating enclosed provider offices in favor of shared workspaces promotes back office collaboration while keeping providers focused on clinic activities in real time. Urgent care reflects the seismic shift occurring in healthcare—traditional, provider-centric approaches of doctors’ offices and hospitals giving way to an innovative, patient-driven focus onRead More
Q: I plan to hire physician assistants and other nonphysician providers in my urgent care clinic. I understand that I can use “incident to” billing to have their patient visits reimbursed at the physician rate. What are the rules for “incident-to” billing? A: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines “incident to” as “those services that are furnished incident to physician professional services in the physician’s office (whether located in a separate office suite or within an institution) or in a patient’s home.” Services must be provided byRead More
Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care, LLC and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.   Urgent message:  Nondisclosure and nonsolicitation clauses are necessary to protect an urgent care center from providers and staff utilizing information gained in their employment in ways that may be damaging to the business, but to be effective, their restrictions and limitations must be understood. Businesses frequently rely upon important and confidential information for the success of the company. This information, often referred toRead More
The ongoing 2017–18 flu season is already one of the worst in recent memory. Recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may offer a clue as to one reason: Based on a complete study of the 2016–17 season, the CDC conjectures that influenza immunization rates may have plateaued. During that most recently completed season, just 46.8% of patients age 6 months or older got a flu shot—an increase of just 1.2% over the previous season—which CDC officials say, specifically, increase the risk of outbreaks like theRead More
Q: Should patient accounts ever get turned over to a collection agency? A: The altruistic nature of running an urgent care center—to serve the public—can make it difficult to send patient accounts to collection, but it must be done if you want your center to survive. Some urgent care centers choose to leave patient balances in their billing systems indefinitely, but this puts a serious burden on the business by creating additional statement costs, wreaking havoc on financial reports, and inflating a center’s days in A/R. It also damages anRead More
Christina Gardner, DHSc, MBA, PA-C; Alexandra Nassif, PA-C; Connie Brooks, MSN-FNP; and Kim Roe, MBA, RRT  Urgent message: Postgraduate fellowship programs are essential to the development of highly trained providers who can support the ongoing growth of the urgent care marketplace in the midst of a national physician shortage. However, historically there have been view available to nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Introduction A 2017 report of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), predicted a shortage of 40,800 to 104,900 physicians by 2030.1 One of the best methods toRead More
Misunderstanding Occupational Medicine Services ‘Protocols’  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: Urgent care owners should be aware of the misuse of the term “protocol” and the scope of employers’ directions concerning the processing of employees in their centers. In addition, urgent care owners need to be diligent when they believe that one of their clients is attempting to override the course of medical treatment for an employee.  The disciplineRead More
We all know urgent care has been growing steadily, nearly since its inception. Hard data on the size of the marketplace can be hard to come by, though, as different sources apply varying definitions of what exactly constitutes an urgent care center. Similarly, we know proper utilization of urgent care services has tremendous potential to lower healthcare costs compared with visits to the emergency room. Again, though, the details can be hard to put a proverbial finger on in the Big Data picture. CBInsights tries to shed some light onRead More