|2015 Fall Conference Wrap-Up|
Interest in urgent care medicine continues to grow and it was evident at this year’s all-new UCAOA Fall Conference held Sept. 24-26, 2015 in New Orleans. A record-high attendance of more than 450 clinical and business professionals came from all across the U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as internationally from Canada, Thailand and the Virgin Islands.
The high point of the conference was the updated educational program, which boasted 60 business and clinical sessions and 5 hands-on workshops. Many first-time attendees raved about the opportunity to gain a 360-degree view of urgent care center operations, making this “one of the best conferences ever!”
Extended exhibit hall hours afforded more sales and networking opportunities in the sold out hall, featuring 77 companies with more than 225 representatives. Decision makers capitalized on the chance to preview advanced urgent care products and services in a hall of Mardi Gras-themed festivities including a jazz band, glittery masks and colorful beads.
This year’s general session opened with UCAOA President Dr. Robert Kimball remarking on how the theme of the 2015 Fall Conference -- Planning. Adapting. Succeeding: New Strategies for Changing Times -- speaks to our current urgent care environment. Dr. Kimball reflected on his 5 years of serving on the UCAOA board and how much the association and industry has grown. Dr. Kimball urged members to be proactive in their state matters by volunteering as a state liaison. He then officially launched the first UCAOA state chapter, the Urgent Care Association of Michigan (UCAOM), asking Dr. Ali Hassan and Mrs. Cindi Lang, UCAOM President and Vice President, to stand and be recognized.
Following Dr. Kimball's opening remarks, Dr. Steven Berkowitz took the stage to present his keynote address on the changing healthcare landscape affecting our nation, and how urgent care centers can better assist patients through strategic partnerships with hospitals and systems. Dr. Berkowitz touched on the importance of quality of care in an era of increasing data transparency, and how best to position urgent care to maximize value in the future.
In addition, legislative and regulatory consultant Camille S. Bonta, MHS, addressed a crowded room during an informative lunch and learn offering insight into state regulatory trends and how urgent care operators can stay abreast of legislative activity. Bonta also highlighted UCAOA’s newly released advocacy tool called CQ State Track, which members can use to stay ahead of state issues. Wrapping up the session was a special video presentation by La. Senator Dr. Bill Cassidy, which spoke to urgent care medicine’s cost-effectiveness and how centers can continue delivering quality care through such opportunities as the TRICARE program and Medicare Alternative Payment Models.
Watch more videos and see more photos from the UCAOA 2015 Fall Conference. Be sure to save-the-date for these UCAOA 2016 educational events. The 2016 Call for Presenters will open on October 26, and UCAOA will now be accepting proposals for all 2016 educational events.