UC Access January 17, 2013
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National Urgent Care Convention — Register Early and Save!
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The 2013 UCAOA Spring Convention is right around the corner! It is being held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Fla., during what some recognize as spring break, so travel arrangements should be made early. PreConvention events are April 7-8 and the Main Convention runs April 9-11 with a kick-off reception in the exhibit hall the evening of April 8.

Go to the National Urgent Care Convention page for more information on registration, session topics, and the overall agenda. See you in Orlando!

Urgent Care Benchmarking
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Associations Now, the industry publication for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), published a story about the 2012 UCAOA Benchmarking Study. Click here to view the article.

The 2012 Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey Results are now available! There are more than 60 pages of graphs, statistics and comparisons to the 2010 and 2008 research. New 2012 data includes:
  • The top ICD-9, CPT, and E&M Codes used
  • Average annual revenue, expense, marketing budgets and more
  • Clinical staffing strategies
  • Provider productivity data
  • Average charge vs. average reimbursement
  • Percentage of patients using urgent care as medical home
  • Utilization of national quality measures
  • Average population per center
  • Changes in patients per hour and average wait times ... and much more!
Click here to purchase the 2012 Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey Results today!


Now Online in JUCM
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One of the must-read articles in the January issue of JUCM is our practice management feature on occupational medicine. The prospect of branching out to offer workers' compensation and employer services focused on compliance or prevention can be daunting for an urgent care provider. The keys to success, as described by author Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, are a long-term commitment and a willingness to respond to employer and employee needs. To read "Understanding the Landscape of Occupational Medicine," turn to page 20 of JUCM online (or in print).

The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine supports the evolution of urgent care medicine by creating content that addresses the clinical practice of urgent care medicine and the practice management challenges of keeping pace with an ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Are you an urgent care provider who would like to write for our journal? Send an email to editor@jucm.com for information on our author guidelines.

Idea of the Week

Idea of the Week
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Now that it's getting dark early in many areas of the country, make sure your sign illuminates as soon as dusk falls. Your sign serves as a billboard to raise awareness to passing traffic of your center. Consider installing a light-sensor on the sign to do this automatically or be sure your staff knows to turn the sign on at 5:30 p.m., or upon sunset in your area. Likewise, your sign should illuminate until at least midnight.

Industry News

'Surge plan' helps urgent care centers, hospitals cope with flu
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Four New Jersey hospitals, express urgent care centers and affiliated physicians are coping with flu patients with their "surge" plan, officials say. Virtua, a comprehensive healthcare system involving four hospitals in Southern New Jersey, designed the plan to manage patients outside the hospital to keep the hospital emergency rooms from being overwhelmed, NJbiz.com reported. More

As 'bodega clinicas' fill void, health officials are torn
The New York Times and Kaiser Health News Share Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite their name, many "bodega clinicas" lining immigrant neighborhoods around Los Angeles are actually private doctor's offices, not licensed clinics, which are required to report regularly to federal and state oversight bodies. But with deadlines set by the federal Affordable Care Act quickly approaching, health officials in Los Angeles are vexed over whether to embrace the clinics and bring them — selectively and gingerly — into the network of tightly regulated public and nonprofit health centers that are driven more by mission than by profit to serve the uninsured. More

Just how severe is this flu season?
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If the headlines are any indication, the flu season is turning out to be a whopper. Boston and New York state have declared states of emergency, vaccine supplies are running out in spots, and some emergency departments are overwhelmed. And the drug Tamiflu, used to treat flu symptoms, is reportedly in short supply. But is the situation as bad as it seems? The bottom line: It's too early in the flu season to say for sure, according to health experts. More

Primary-care clinic treatment improves patient follow up
medwireNews via The Medical News Share Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Treating low-acuity emergency-department patients in a primary-care clinic results in better future primary care follow up, research shows. More than half of patients treated in the primary-care clinic had at least one follow-up visit in the year following the intervention compared with just one-third of patients treated in the ED. More

Are e-visits as good as office appointments?
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A new study suggests that "e-visits" for sinus infections and urinary tract infections may be cheaper than in-person office visits and similarly effective. For e-visits, patients fill out online forms about their symptoms and a doctor or nurse gets back to them within a few hours with treatment advice. More

EHR-related errors soar but few harm patients
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Hospitals are reporting more patient safety problems related to electronic health records, yet it appears that only a fraction of the mix-ups are leading to patient harm, according to a recent study of more than 3,000 incidents in Pennsylvania. More

Child with a bad cold? Don't bother with those cold meds
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When a young child comes down with a cold — congestion, a scratchy sore throat and runny nose, maybe with greenish goo — many parents head straight for the drugstore for a bottle of children's cold medicine. Don't bother. It's worth it to give children lots of fluid, acetaminophen or ibuprofen if they are uncomfortable and liberal doses of books, games and TV. More

Finding an economic model for high-tech, efficient healthcare
Los Angeles Times Share Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A nagging issue for healthcare reformers is the disincentive for many providers to adopt innovative approaches to care that improve health and cut costs. If you're paid a fee for each service you provide in your office, why would you invest in technologies and procedures that led to fewer billable services? More

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