Is Four Times a Charm for Walmart (or, Could Walmart Be a Threat to Urgent Care)?

Is Four Times a Charm for Walmart (or, Could Walmart Be a Threat to Urgent Care)?

Urgent message: It’s important for urgent care to watch and learn from Walmart, which has engaged leading retail and strategic consultants to develop “Walmart Health.” However, based on Walmart’s three previous failures to penetrate any significant share of even its own stores with a retail clinic model, skepticism over Walmart’s ability to execute as a healthcare provider is warranted. If Walmart has its way, America’s burgeoning healthcare marketplace is about to get a lot more …

Read More

COVID-19 Considerations in the Urgent Care Clinic

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has swept the country and world in rapid and unprecedented fashion. While much of the news coverage and scientific studies have focused on hospital needs and demands, as well as patient care in hospital settings, urgent care (UC) clinics remain on the front lines too. In fact, many UC clinics are seeing an increase in demand from patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Additional patient volume increases may come from changes in operations at other …

Read More

The Impact of Public Health Emergency on Revenue Cycle Management

March and April were challenging months for all of us, and the revenue cycle management arena is no exception. A few months ago, we never would have imagined that our everyday lives would grind to such a halt—from schools, sports, concerts, and events canceled to self-quarantines and stay-in-place mandates. The financial markets have lost tremendous value and many people have lost or will likely lose their jobs. In all of this craze, we have seen …

Read More

When Can an Urgent Care Legally ‘Fire’ a Patient?

Urgent message: In light of increasingly frequent reports of urgent care centers “firing” patients for various reasons, clarity is needed as to whether and when it may be legal and appropriate for urgent care to “ban” a patient. The customer is always right. We’ve all heard that saying and perhaps even invoked it in a contentious business situation. But exactly how does this apply to providers and staff in an urgent care?  Background A patient …

Read More
To Appeal to Millennials, You Need a Purpose

To Appeal to Millennials, You Need a Purpose

Urgent message: A sense of “purpose” is the primary motivator for many employees—even beyond compensation and benefits. That’s why successful companies leverage powerful purpose statements towards clearly articulating their mission and values, and cultivating an engaged and inspired workforce. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc Whether part of a larger cultural and societal shift, or due to the influence of a Millennial-dominated workforce, the importance of “purpose” at work has taken on a heightened significance in …

Read More

Contracting and Credentialing: A Complex Obstacle to Navigate

The terms contracting and credentialing are often used interchangeably, but the processes involved in each, while interdependent, are very different and have different outcomes. Contracting, in brief, is the process of creating a formal legal agreement between the payer (insurance company) and the provider (facility, physician, and/or physician extender). The contract outlines expectations and requirements of all parties. The effective date of the agreement, the reimbursement/fee schedule, place of service, termination clauses, services allowed and …

Read More

Prescribing Pharmacists: Cheaper and More Accessible Than Urgent Care?

Urgent message: As states move forward with legislation enabling pharmacists to prescribe, not just dispense, the urgent care industry must consider the implications on competition, collaboration and public health. 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.  On February 11, 2020, the Virginia legislature passed bills HB 1506 and SB 1026, respectively, enabling pharmacists to prescribe medications, not …

Read More

Image May not Be Everything, but Imaging Comes Pretty Close

It used to be that the ability to administer x-rays on site was enough to distinguish one urgent care center’s superiority over another. With most urgent care operators understanding that patients have come to expect x-ray services these days, however, it’s not such a competitive advantage. Rather, making the process as smooth as possible and ensuring the reads are spot-on should encourage patients to come back in the future. Failing to do so will likely …

Read More

Thirty-Three Billion Reasons Patients Should Be Heading to Urgent Care Instead of the ED

Urgent care has flourished because of its defining attribute of providing high-quality, walk-in care more efficiently and less expensively than the emergency room offers. Yet, we continue to read articles in the mainstream media saying that so many people still flock to the ED with relatively minor complaints that during high-volume periods (like flu season), hospital and local health officials practically beg them to go to an urgent care center instead. The question of why …

Read More
Pros and Cons of Urgent Care vs Primary Care Billing for Urgent Care Services

Pros and Cons of Urgent Care vs Primary Care Billing for Urgent Care Services

Urgent message: While it makes business sense for the minority of urgent care facilities that do contract with and bill insurance as a primary care practice, the majority contract and bill as urgent care, given higher reimbursement and the numerous other benefits this provides an urgent care operation. 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. In …

Read More