Turning Back the Tide of Antibiotic Resistance, One (Unfilled) Prescription at a Time

According to JUCM’s own chart research, antibiotics are the most-prescribed class of medications in urgent care. This is not surprising, given that six of the top 10 presenting complaints in urgent care encompass possible diagnoses for which an antibiotic could be an appropriate choice.1             Still, there’s no denying that antibiotics have been overprescribed across the board—in retail clinics, emergency room, traditional primary care offices, and urgent care. This was clearly validated in a research …

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Looking Forward to 2021

2020 has been a rough year for all of us, and everybody is eagerly awaiting 2021. One thing for urgent care providers to look forward to is simplified documentation standards for evaluation and management guidelines. Current documentation guidelines are over 20 years old. A lot has changed in that time, most importantly the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). Thus, outdated expectations have created “note bloat,” unnecessary work, and contributed to provider burn out. The …

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The Hazards of Independent Contractor/Employee Misclassification

The Hazards of Independent Contractor/Employee Misclassification

Urgent message: There are serious and costly consequences for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, even if the employee requests or agrees to do so. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care. With COVID-19 fears or childcare issues requiring more people to consider home-based employment—and with many companies already conditioned to having employees working remotely—circumstances may arise in which executive or administrative personnel seek job flexibility beyond what’s currently offered …

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To Flu or Not to Flu

It’s flu season again and this year patients have two viruses to worry about: COVID-19 and influenza. Now is the time patients will come in to get their flu vaccine and (hopefully) take the flu possibility out of the equation. Vaccinations are usually billed with two CPT codes: one for the vaccine and one for the administration of the vaccine. If the practice did not pay for the vaccine, only the CPT code for the …

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MIS-C: What to Look for—and the Consequences of Missing It

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared that children were somehow less susceptible to becoming infected and, if they did get sick, had some unexplained level of protection against becoming severely ill. Like many “facts” about the virus, however, our understanding has changed since then.             While it still appears that children are getting sick at lower rates than adults, we now know COVID-19 can have dire consequences for younger patients. In fact, …

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Does the OSHA General Duty Clause Encompass Psychological or Emotional Injury?

Does the OSHA General Duty Clause Encompass Psychological or Emotional Injury?

Urgent message: Despite tort law and emerging workplace policies validating how sexual harassment, workplace bullying, and toxic gossip can lead to emotional and psychological harm, currently the OSHA General Duty Clause imposes a responsibility only for employers to provide a workplace free of “death and serious physical injury.” Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc The OSHA General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,1 states that an employer must provide each of …

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What’s New for ICD-10 in 2021?

It’s that time of year again. On October 1, 2020, the annual update to ICD-10 codes goes into effective. Just a reminder—there is no grace period. Use of deleted or invalid diagnosis codes will result in claim denial and delay payment. The ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting FY 2021 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021) have also been updated. These are provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with the …

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Left on the Bench at the Start of the Pandemic, Urgent Care Rebounds in a Big Way

If you worked in an urgent care center located anywhere but a major urban hotspot at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely your business suffered. You may have even seen your team diminished or your business (we hope temporarily) closed. It didn’t have to be that way. Between testing patients for COVID-19 and treating others for whom there was no room at the emergency room, it should have been a shining moment for …

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The Challenge of Inequity in Urgent Care Medicine: A Call to Action

Lindsey E. Fish, MD The young black couple walked into our urgent care clinic, eyes wide and filled with fear, hope, and expectation. Wrapped in her mother’s arms was their 3-day-old beautiful baby girl, a child born in the midst of two scourges—the COVID-19 pandemic that was sweeping our country and world, and the pandemic of racial inequity that was surfacing due to peaceful protests and violent riots occurring throughout our cities and rural communities …

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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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