Prescription Duration for Urgent Care Patients

Prescription Duration for Urgent Care Patients

Whereas primary care is focused on prevention and management of chronic conditions, urgent care has historically been defined as episodic treatment for non-acute or acutely rising conditions—which are not medical emergencies but generally call for evaluation within 24 hours. As such, it would be expected that urgent care providers would prescribe medications only for the duration of a current infection or until a patient can follow-up with a specialist or primary care physician, for example. …

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Urgent Care De Novo Growth by Operator Size, 2022-2023

Urgent Care De Novo Growth by Operator Size, 2022-2023

A compilation of 2022 and 2023 de novo urgent care center data shows a 7% decline in new locations: from 1,651 de novo centers in 2022 to 1,540 in 2023. A “de novo” center is a new urgent care location where services were not offered previously. The unit of measure is the physical site, meaning if an existing location already in operation happened to change ownership, such change is not counted as de novo growth. …

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Robust Urgent Care De Novo Growth Continues

Robust Urgent Care De Novo Growth Continues

The urgent care industry continues to add de novo centers, according to data from Experity and National Urgent Care Realty. Although de novo growth slowed in 2023 by 5%, 2023 de novos are still 16% higher than 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. In addition to continued overall growth of the industry, the data indicates structural changes in who is opening de novos. A “de novo” urgent care refers to a center that did not previously …

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Center Locations Double, Driven by Big Consumer Trends

Across the hills and valleys of healthcare, the rising power of the consumer has reshaped the landscape more than any other market shift in recent memory. Patient preferences are fueling demand for everything from virtual care to retail-store clinics. For urgent care, the innovations represent thrilling opportunity alongside equal measures of competition. The ratio of wins to losses will vary by market. Yet even with the large-scale disruption, urgent care has grown with intention, both …

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In-Office Dispensing: The Good, the Bad, and the Unlikely

In-Office Dispensing: The Good, the Bad, and the Unlikely

On paper (so to speak), in-office prescribing in the urgent care center would seem to be a no-brainer for all concerned: patients could avoid the time-consuming hassles of navigating the retail drugstore morass and head straight home with their medication, and providers could be assured that their patients got the right medication in a timely manner and could be the responsible parties to answer any questions they may have—all while collecting a modest profit.  That’s …

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There’s No Casual Approach to Improving Antibiotic Stewardship—but When You Make the Effort, It Works

There’s No Casual Approach to Improving Antibiotic Stewardship—but When You Make the Effort, It Works

Improving antibiotic stewardship was an industry-wide mandate even before a 2018 study indicated that urgent care appeared to be more likely than other settings to overprescribe for common infections. While the methodologies could be questioned, especially in their take on the nature of urgent care visits, the point was well taken. Since then, urgent care as a whole has sought to improve providers’ prescribing habits more aggressively than ever. The initial awareness campaigns did a …

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That Notion That Urgent Care Centers Help Volume in the ED? It’s True

That Notion That Urgent Care Centers Help Volume in the ED? It’s True

One of the key “selling” points of urgent care has always been that if patients who don’t have limb- or life-threatening concerns are able to get acute care someplace other than the emergency room, they would go there, thereby lowering cost, wait times, and risk associated with the ED. Now there’s evidence to support the first part of this premise, thanks to a new report from Mesirow Investment Banking. As seen in the graph below, …

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The 10-Year Trend on UC Claim Lines Is Strong—in the City and in the Country

The 10-Year Trend on UC Claim Lines Is Strong—in the City and in the Country

Click Here to download the PDF. Believe it or not, just a decade ago urgent care accounted for barely 6% of all claim lines in the United States. There was little difference between rural and urban settings, too. New research from FAIR Health1 shows that the picture changed dramatically in 2015, though, as the percentage of claim lines attributed to urgent care jumped nearly 5% in a single year and rural claims started to outpace …

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Despite Challenges, Urgent Care Acuity Remains High

There’s been a bit of discussion in the urgent care industry (including in JUCM articles of late) concerning a perceived degradation of acuity in urgent care practice. The worry is that in the service of getting a maximum number of patients in and out the door quickly, some patients with more than minimally complicated complaints are advised to visit the closest emergency room when they could just as safely (and more cost-effectively) be treated in …

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