The unabated epidemic of opioid and synthetic opioid addiction has moved President Trump to declare it a national public health emergency. It’s also moving occupational health providers, including some urgent care operators, to look at updating the drug screens they give as part of their pre-employment examinations. Tennessee Occupational Health, for one, reports that as much as 80% of positive drug tests they see show evidence of opiates. As recently as 5 years, ago, marijuana …Read More
Attention Operators: You Won't Have to Report Pay by Gender, Race After All
When President Trump took office, he vowed to take steps to make life easier for business operators. The White House just announced one step in that direction would be reversing an Obama administration decision to make employers, including urgent care operators, report how much they paid workers and break down the data by gender, race, and ethnicity. Obama believed doing so would help quantify (and ultimately curb) pay discrimination, while Trump maintains that the process …Read More
Express Scripts Is on the Same Page with the White House on Opioids
President Trump recently declared the epidemic of opioid addiction and related deaths to be a national emergency, pledging the federal government would spending more money and pay more attention to stemming the crisis. While details are still to come, theoretically future actions could include mandatory education for prescribers nationally and increasing funds to treatment and prevention programs. Coinciding with that, Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, is trying to restrict access to opioids. …Read More
CMS May Cut Payments for Off-Campus Hospital Visits by Half
Hospital-owned urgent care centers—many of which became “hospital-owned” thanks to a relatively generous 50% reimbursement rate for off-campus patient visits—may be taking a substantial hit if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services follows through on a plan to cut that rate by half. Hospital administrators say even though running off-campus clinics increases their operating budgets, they enable health systems to offer more patients access to cost-effective care. On the other hand, the Trump administration …Read More
Proposed Federal Budget Could Affect Urgent Care Staffing Costs
One component of President Trump’s proposed budget could have significant impact on urgent care staffing if it remains part of the final version ultimately approved by Congress. Specifically, Trump’s plan—which is likely to be substantially rewritten as it goes through the House and Senate—would ensure 6 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers after the birth of a baby. Some large employers have already instituted similar policies voluntarily, but smaller companies (eg, many …Read More
What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Urgent Care Operators?
With a chief executive who’s used to being a CEO, what changes can urgent care operators expect in their role as employers once Donald Trump takes office in January? The law firm of Brennan, Manna & Diamond predicts a pro-employer climate overall in a Client Alert it issued this week, based partly on expected appointment of several Supreme Court justices likely to be more conservative than their retiring predecessors. That will be most evident in …Read More
What’s Next for the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) has given millions of citizens access to healthcare they didn’t have before, driving up volume in some urgent care centers and emergency rooms. It’s also put sometimes unbearable pressure on insurers to find a way to stay profitable in the state-run exchanges; most that originally participated have bowed out because they were losing too much money, in fact. With the election of Donald Trump as our next president, …Read More