A Half Century of Urgent Care: What Today’s Startups Need to Know

The urgent care industry is in its fifth decade and still growing! The driving forces of affordability and accessibility continue to fuel this growth. Success has been propelled by the agility of urgent care operators in adjusting their business model to meet the demands of their communities. Initially, urgent care centers were a welcome supplement in communities where the emergency department was the only option for medical care apart from PCPs or specialist offices. Roughly …

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Urgent Care—It’s a Millennial’s Market

Urgent Care—It’s a Millennial’s Market

In terms of services offered, urgent care “should” appeal to patients of all ages. And it does. But to which age groups does it appeal the most? If you guessed “Millennials, ” you’re right—and that’s nothing new, according to the FH Healthcare Indicators and FH Medical Price Index 2022. In fact, those born between 24 and 39 years of age in 2020, when the data were collected, have been urgent care’s top customers for several years …

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As COVID Turns Endemic, Investors Remain Bullish on Urgent Care Growth

As COVID Turns Endemic, Investors Remain Bullish on Urgent Care Growth

Urgent message: De novo growth of urgent care continued through the pandemic. As COVID turns endemic, investors remain bullish on urgent care growth. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc  Despite concerns about fluctuating visit volumes and long-term sustainability, uncertainty and urgent care have always gone hand in hand. Case in point: Largely driven by flu, the urgent care industry has firsthand insight into years of flu research, seasonal trends, and vaccine efficacy. Yet amid everything we …

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Decreasing Denials and Rejections Through Your Urgent Care Operating Model

A wise person once said, “If a claim is rejected or denied, the energy to get it paid is five times the energy if it went through as a clean claim.” Maybe it is only four times or three times the work, but the point is that we should all do everything we can to avoid rejections and denials! Unlike more complicated specialties subject to complicated coding, authorization, and other factors, in an urgent care …

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Why Private Equity and Other ‘Smart Money’ Is Bullish on Brick-and-Mortar Urgent Care

Why Private Equity and Other ‘Smart Money’ Is Bullish on Brick-and-Mortar Urgent Care

Urgent message: Despite the current seasonal, postpandemic lull in volume, sophisticated investors are focused on the long-term growth prospects of urgent care in terms of new rooftops, new patient populations, new services, and new payers…among others. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc Even for those who are “tenured” in the urgent care industry—the last 24 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough ride. If 100% were baseline volume, the average urgent care saw volume …

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Spoiler Alert: 2020 Saw a New Trent in Urgent Care Data Claims

Spoiler Alert: 2020 Saw a NewTrend in Urgent Care Data Claims Spoiler Alert: 2020 Saw a NewTrend in Urgent Care Data Claims The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare systems around the world has been unprecedented, at least in our lifetimes. The cost in lives and dollars, pounds, euros, yuan, is incalculable at this point, as the pandemic continues. What we can get our arms around, however, is how visits to urgent care centers …

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No Troponin, No Problem: Reimagining Chest Pain Assessment in Urgent Care

No Troponin, No Problem: Reimagining Chest Pain Assessment in Urgent Care

Most urgent care providers loathe when a patient checks in with chest pain because, typically, they are presenting because they’re worried about a heart attack, and we’re worried we don’t have the tools to exclude this diagnosis. It’s no surprise that we’re met with consternation when we suggest they may have come to the wrong place for care. But is unavailability of troponin testing a worthy scapegoat? And is the practice of ED referral for …

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Avoiding Defamation Lawsuits in Urgent Care

Avoiding Defamation Lawsuits in Urgent Care

Urgent message: People are unlikely to trust their healthcare to a provider with a sullied reputation, so speaking ill of a provider can cost them in terms of patient revenue or future employment opportunities. Understanding the causes and defenses for defamation can help you protect your reputation and your business. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc We live in a nation where the First Amendment should protect “free speech,” particularly among public figures. Yet, Google “defamation …

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Yes, Urgent Care Lost Visits During the Pandemic—but Other Settings Lost Far More

Yes, Urgent Care Lost Visits During the Pandemic—but Other Settings Lost Far More

It won’t be news to you that patient visits dropped—precipitously at times—over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. And there’s no getting around the fact that business has suffered, though it’s also a plain fact that many patients are returning. What is probably less evident, but certainly interesting, is that between 2019 and 2020 urgent care centers saw less of a decline in  utilization than emergency rooms and ambulatory surgery centers,  as illustrated in the …

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Urgent Care Billing: Best Practices Scorecard

When it comes to measuring your financial performance, metrics translate the actions of others into insight. They provide visibility into the efficacy of your overall billing process. But while they may shine a light on where you need to improve, they don’t tell you how to do it. For a better understanding of how well your clinic is optimizing the billing process, look at your everyday practices. Our revenue cycle management (RCM) experts compiled 10 …

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