Startup FAQs
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Welcome to the field of urgent care! We should have answers to your most pressing questions below, and on the main FAQ page:

Members Only Resources
Sample Forms: Intake, Triage, Discharge, Follow up
Sample Job Descriptions
Startup Timeline & Readiness Checklist
Equipment Checklist
Proforma Template

Do you have a “how-to” manual? 
Are there courses on how to start?
Do you have sample forms, job descriptions, etc?
Do I need a special license? 
Do I have to be a physician to open one? 
Am I subject to EMTALA?
How do I get started? 


Do you have a “how-to” manual?
We do not have a “manual” – but we do have significant resources to assist you with starting a new urgent care center. The first is our 2-day Comprehensive Clinic Startup Course, taught at both our Spring Convention and Fall Conference. If you are not able to make a face-to-face conference, consider purchasing some or all of the lectures in the Online Library. We also have an Online Forum for New Centers, and many resources in our Members Only section including a comprehensive startup timeline, equipment checklists, and more.

Are there courses on how to start?
Yes - we teach a 2-day "Comprehensive Clinic Startup" course twice a year at our Spring Convention and Fall Conference.

Do you have sample forms, job descriptions, etc?
We have sample job descriptions, intake and discharge forms, satisfaction survey templates, and much more in our Member Only Resources.

Do I need a special license?
Currently the only state that requires your urgent care center to have a specific urgent care license is Arizona. However, you should, of course, have all of the applicable state licenses for operating a physician office and lab, x-ray, etc. where applicable.   There are also restrictions in some states (Illinois, Delaware and New Hampshire) about how you can name and market your center.

I have to be a physician to open one?
It depends on where your center is. Currently a physician owner is required in Texas, California, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, New York and New Jersey under a doctrine called the Corporate Practice of Medicine.

Am I subject to EMTALA? 
It depends on where your center is, and if your center is hospital-owned. If you are freestanding and independent, currently you are not. If you are on the hospital campus (or within 250 feet) you may be subject. Here is the most recent reference on the topic http://www.cms.hhs.gov/EMTALA/Downloads/CMS-1063-F.pdf - see page 60 for the information relevant to urgent care centers.

How do I get started? 
Do not get started without talking to someone with experience in urgent care centers. We strongly recommend attending a course to have a full understanding of the business side of urgent care. Mistakes can be made that will cost significant time and money. You should also have a sense of the state of the urgent care industry – we recommend the report “No Appointment Needed”. At the very least, please take advantage of all the free advice on the Starting a New Urgent Care Center Forum and our other public resources. We also recommend you talk with representatives at our Sponsor organizations – they work heavily in urgent care and have a lot of insight.
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