Facilities will receive a Certification of Category 1 or Category 2 depending on their staffing model:
All facilities, regardless of staffing model, must meet or exceed all of the minimum criteria below.
- Category 1 = licensed physician (MD/DO) on site during all posted hours of operation
- Category 2 = licensed provider (MD/DO or NP/PA) on site during all posted hours of operation (mixed models)
Facility must be capable of evaluating walk-in patients of all ages for a broad spectrum of illness, injury and disease during all hours the facility is open to see patients.
- Pediatric specialty centers are exempt from above age requirement IF pediatric-only specialization is included in the name of the facility.
The following must be available during all posted hours of operation for the facility:
Please Note -- The following changes to X-ray requirement will be effective as of January 1, 2018: X-ray on site (as specified by state) On-site radiological equipment (imaging modality to perform chest x-rays, c spines, long bone films, abdomen, extremities, etc) that is easily interpretable and archivable.
- Phlebotomy services on site
- Licensed provider on site with the appropriate state licenses and resources to:
- obtain and read an EKG and x-ray on site
- administer PO, IM & IV medication/fluids on site
- perform minor procedures (ex. sutures, cyst removal, incision & drainage, splinting) on site
- The following equipment, and staff trained in its use:
- automated external defibrillator (AED) (or more advanced device)
- oxygen, ambu-bag/oral airway
- drug cart stocked appropriately for patient population (as determined by the facility)
- working phone to dial 911
- At least two exam rooms, separate waiting area and restricted access patient restrooms
Minimum hours of operation (must meet all three criteria)
- 7 days/week (not including national holidays)
- 4+ hours each day
- 3,000 hours per year
Alternatively, special circumstances will be considered for a facility if all of the following are met (see application):
- Facility is part of a multi-center system
- Facility is open 5+ days/week (not including national holidays)
- Another facility that is part of the same system meets standard minimum hours of operation criteria [Criteria 3] AND is less than or equal to five miles away
The Certification Committee at its sole discretion may make an occasional exception for “certain religious holidays” only on a “case by case basis,” as long as it does not affect the overall purpose of the facility to be open year round, 7 days a week and accepting walk-in patients of all ages without appointment.
Also we would allow a temporary emergency closure of the facility because of an unforeseen circumstance (or acts of god, flood, hurricane, power outage, etc).
Facility must have a licensed physician designated as Medical Director for the facility who is responsible for overall clinical quality.
Facility must provide medical care and perform business activities in an ethical manner.
Certain facilities and practice types are unlikely to meet all of the above minimum criteria and therefore would be excluded from eligibility for certification as an urgent care center. These facilities should use extreme caution when applying, as fees are not refundable
. Some examples include:
- Retail or similar clinic with limited scope of service located within a pharmacy, supermarket or similar retail facility
- Physician offices with only selected hours for walk-ins
- Chiropractic offices
- Pain clinics
Note: In states with legal restrictions on using the term "urgent care," facilities will be issued Certified Immediate Care designations.