The American Hospital Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American Medical Association recently threw some serious shade at the urgent care industry. The AHA and ACEP took aim at UnitedHealthcare’s plans to review all emergency room visits among its members to assess whether they were “real” emergencies or not, and to force patients to foot the bill if it’s determined that a visit to the ED was actually nonemergent. The problem is, in doing so they seemed to imply that the level of care would be lower if the patient had initially sought care in a lower-cost setting, such as urgent care. Then the AMA House of Delegates voted to advocate for specific principles to be followed by any entity launching or operating an urgent care center—with most of those principles being things already common in our industry, and included in UCA’s Standards for Accreditation of urgent care centers. UCA (of which JUCM is the official publication) was quick to remind the AHA and ACEP that “urgent care providers are qualified medical professionals—physicians and advanced practice clinicians—who have daily experience in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.” Then, joined by the College of Urgent Care Medicine, the association let the AMA know that “urgent care centers assist patients in finding a primary care provider when one is desired, provide copies of discharge summaries and medical records in accordance with regulations including the CARES Act to the patient and/or primary care provider when possible.”

UCA Reminds Medical Societies: Urgent Care Is Fully Up to the Task at Hand
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