The Nuances of Age Discrimination

The Nuances of Age Discrimination

Urgent message: As the United States learns to support an aging workforce, understanding the nuances of age discrimination can help urgent care practices to be fair and diverse workplaces that avoid potential legal pitfalls. Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Senior Editor, Practice Management of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and is President of Experity Networks “Lori’s been here since dinosaurs roamed the earth—she’ll know where it’s at.”1 That type of comment may land …

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Are There Any Restrictions on an Urgent Care Provider Charging a No-Show or Cancellation Fee?

Are There Any Restrictions on an Urgent Care Provider Charging a No-Show or Cancellation Fee?

Urgent message: When holding a time slot that could go to another paying customer, it’s common for service businesses to charge no-show or cancellation fees. With many urgent care centers moving to online registration and queuing systems, could this be a solution for maximizing throughput in urgent care as well? Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is President of Experity Networks and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. Please provide at …

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Misunderstanding Occupational Medicine Services ‘Protocols’

Misunderstanding Occupational Medicine Services ‘Protocols’  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: Urgent care owners should be aware of the misuse of the term “protocol” and the scope of employers’ directions concerning the processing of employees in their centers. In addition, urgent care owners need to be diligent when they believe that one of their …

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Implications of HIPAA and Employee Confidentiality Rules on Positive Drug Test Results

Implications of HIPAA and Employee Confidentiality Rules on Positive Drug Test Results

Urgent message: In addition to drug testing their own employees, many urgent care centers offer drug testing as a service to other employers. Therefore, it’s important to understand the laws affecting the privacy of drug screen results.  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 It’s standard procedure throughout the country for employers to require …

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What HIPAA Is and What It’s Not

Urgent message: While many people perceive HIPAA as a law governing patient privacy, protection and standards for personal health information is only one aspect of this law, which was originally intended to regulate health insurance.   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 Ask anyone—even the owner of an urgent care center—what HIPAA is, …

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Washington Suit Alleges Obstacles to ‘Charity Care’ by Hospital

Washington Suit Alleges Obstacles to ‘Charity Care’ by Hospital

Washington’s attorney general has filed suit against St. Joseph Medical Center, charging that the hospital has illegally withheld “charity care” from tens of thousands of low-income Tacoma-area residents for years. Specifically, AG Bob Ferguson says St. Joseph has erected “obstacles” that inhibit providing care to patients who may have trouble affording it. State laws in Washington require hospitals to verify the income of prospective charity patients, but allegedly St. Joseph staff were directed to ask …

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Streamlining Management of Shared Employees Across Multiple Locations

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 …

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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 …

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When to Fight a Claim for Unemployment

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 …

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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, …

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