Most Urgent Care Centers Give Immunization a Shot—of One Type or Another

If you haven’t noticed, it’s flu season. In fact, it’s been flu season longer than usual for this point compared with past years, thanks to an unexpectedly early arrival. With months to go, though, there’s still time for patients who have not been immunized to reap the benefits of getting a flu shot. This is not to say that influenza is the only immunization patients need. With reports of measles also beginning to climb as …

Read More

Legal Considerations for Expedited Partner Therapy in Urgent Care

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: Expedited Partner Therapy enables a provider, when treating a patient for a sexually transmitted infection, to give a second prescription for the patient’s partner without having to examine the partner.  Introduction Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is the clinical practice of treating the sex partners of patients diagnosed with …

Read More

Already Looking Forward to 2021—and (Hopefully) Smoother Sailing with E/M Coding

On November 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed with the final rule for 2020 that they have accepted all of the American Medical Associations (AMA) recommendations for coding of office and outpatient evaluation and management (E/M) services starting in 2021. This will offer some documentation relief for providers who have been held to dated 1995 and 1997 guidelines that were written before the use of electronic medical records. However, these …

Read More

Flu Season is Nearly Synonymous with Rapid Test Season—Are You Ready?

Flu Season is Nearly Synonymous with Rapid Test Season—Are You Ready? Patients come to urgent care because they know they can get excellent care without an appointment, and without languishing in the waiting area of the ED. So, it stands to reason that if they need lab tests they want to get them on site, at your facility, with the same degree of efficiency that drew them in to begin with. This is never truer …

Read More

Can Urgent Care Patients be Treated Anonymously?

Urgent message: Due to the perceived “acute nature” of the urgent care setting, many patients falsely believe that they can be treated anonymously. On the contrary, legal implications, insurance practices, and the integration of technology with medical records mean that delivering anonymous care is nearly impossible. 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. Healthcare is intensely personal, …

Read More

Three Tips to Optimizing Patient Collections

Over the last decade, perhaps the most staggering shift in consumer-based healthcare has been the increase in patient responsibility. Due to the rise in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), providers are now faced with the challenge of collecting an average of 35% of their revenue from patients, without a downward swing in the insured population. Consider the following: In 2018, 85% of covered workers had a deductible, up from 59% in 2008. The average deductible in …

Read More
Rural and Tertiary Markets: The Next Urgent Care Frontier

Rural and Tertiary Markets: The Next Urgent Care Frontier

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: Given the oversaturation and resulting fierce competition among urgent care chains in the affluent suburbs of major cities, the underserved rural healthcare market offers tremendous growth opportunity for the forward-thinking urgent care operator. Urgent care began as a suburban phenomenon—and continues to be, as evidenced by the Urgent …

Read More
Much Ado About Toilet Bluing (and Other Drug Testing Requirements)

Much Ado About Toilet Bluing (and Other Drug Testing Requirements)

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care. Urgent message: While any urgent care’s preferred “toilet bluing” method for urine specimen drug screen collects would seem a mundane matter, a careless or haphazard approach can result in unintended and potentially serious consequences. Urgent care centers that provide occupational medicine and drug testing services are required to follow specific …

Read More
Urgent Care Looks to Find its Identity through Gen Z and Millennials

Urgent Care Looks to Find its Identity through Gen Z and Millennials

Urgent message: Younger consumers’ healthcare preferences are significantly different than that of older consumers. Urgent care providers have a prime opportunity to meet the needs of Gen Z and Millennials by creating a new healthcare experience. Dan Stanek Introduction As everyday healthcare begins to deviate from the classic primary care model, the competition is just beginning in regard to which alternative provider will best suit consumers’ needs. Urgent care may be the current provider type …

Read More

Keeping Up with CMS Policies on Medicare Cards and Flu Vaccine Reimbursements

New Medicare Card Transition Period Ends December 31, 2019 As a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), in 2018 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began issuing new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries; unlike the previously existing cards, the new cards do not display the beneficiary’s Social Security number. CMS set up a schedule to mail out the new cards based on regions, to be completed by …

Read More