Health Law

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
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
Urgent message: Ongoing growth within the urgent care industry intensifies competition for competent professionals. “Sharing” trusted workers across multiple sites can help keep costs in check and ensure efficient practices—provided it’s done right. Andraya Carson-Hruby and Vance Daniels It is a good time to be in the urgent care business: According to the Urgent Care Association of America’s 2016 Benchmarking Report, there was a 10% increase in the number of urgent care centers across the U.S. from 2015 to 2016, and 90% of urgent care centers expect continued growth thisRead More
Urgent Message: The owners and operators of urgent care centers are liable only for “foreseeable” events, which generally excludes a car crashing into an urgent care center and other “freak” accidents. Perhaps it’s the last story on a newscast, or in the strange-but-true section of the newspaper or a website: a vehicle crashes into an urgent care center. As strange as this news may seem, it’s not entirely uncommon. In the past decade, there have been at least 13 incidents of motor vehicles crashing into urgent care facilities—some of whichRead More

Posted On May 30, 2017 By In Health Law

Why Are You Being Sued?

Urgent message: “Winning” a lawsuit in which you’re the defendant runs a distant second to avoiding lawsuits altogether—never mind if you’re on the losing end and have to pay a judgment. Understanding relevant regulations and laws is the best way to stay out of court. Today’s healthcare providers must carefully navigate their way around complex laws and regulations which regulate, restrict, and impact their practices. Urgent care providers who fail to navigate within these laws may find themselves on the wrong side of a lawsuit or regulatory action. Here areRead More
Urgent message: While unemployment insurance claims can cost an urgent care center through higher future premiums, there are multiple considerations for when a center should contest or approve an unemployment claim. Urgent care centers, as service businesses, frequently experience a high rate of turnover among their less skilled, frontline staff—eg, receptionists, clerks, and medical assistants. Whether an employee quits or is terminated for cause or performance, a common issue for urgent care center owners is determining in what circumstances an employee is entitled to unemployment compensation—and when an employer shouldRead More

Posted On March 27, 2017 By In Health Law

Who Owns Patient Medical Records?

Urgent message: While historically there has been an understanding that patients own the information contained in their medical records, and that providers own the record itself, the current lack of a federal law governing the ownership of medical records poses a conundrum when those records are stored electronically. New challenges demand innovative solutions—often in the form of new technologies that make life easier. Certainly technology has advanced healthcare to improve and lengthen our lives. Yet, perhaps more noticeable in the medical realm than in other fields, we see the clashRead More
Urgent message: Failure to identify risks in a new hire’s background can result in “negligent hiring” liability for an urgent care operator, but there are also limitations in what information a center can seek on an applicant. The approximately 7,100 urgent care centers in the United States employ physicians, NPs, PAs, RNs, medical assistants, technicians, and receptionists who provide walk-in patients with medical care for minor health conditions without an appointment. Most urgent care centers around the country are owned by physician‒entrepreneurs. While many larger corporate and hospital-affiliated urgent careRead More