Some states hit harder by flu this year
Five more states reported widespread flu activity during the second week of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bringing the total to 40 states. Typically, the flu season begins in the winter months and peaks in January or February, according to the CDC. But it's way too early to know if flu has peaked yet this year. "As typical of a flu season, some areas are being harder hit than other areas," said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner. Read more to learn if your state is being affected, and be sure to participate in UCAOA's quick poll about the 2013-2014 flu season.
Deadline approaching for BOD nominations
The deadline for nominating candidates for UCAOA's Board of Director positions is approaching. If you have an individual to nominate or are self-nominating, please do so by Friday, Jan. 31. Click here for more information and to access the nomination form. New directors will be elected by you, the members, through an online process that culminates at the National Urgent Care Convention, March 17-20.
The importance of writing solid job descriptions
As the owner or operator of an urgent care center, you should have a concise, complete and up-to-date job description for every role in your practice to set expectations of what employees should be doing as well as to evaluate their performance. This month's article by Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Practice Management Content Advisor and Board Member, describes the components required of a solid job description, how to create one and some of the pitfalls and oversights that can cause the potential for employment disputes and possible litigation.
Help UCAOA recognize its 10th anniversary and celebrate urgent care
Throughout 2014, UCAOA will be recognizing its 10-year anniversary and celebrating urgent care. We want you to be a part of this special time, so please help us make 2014 meaningful by sharing your membership story with us! We want to know from you, our members, how being a part of UCAOA has helped you to open or grow an urgent care center, expand your skills or knowledge, improve patient care or advance your career. Your shared story may be showcased during UCAOA's 10th National Urgent Care Convention, held March 17-20 in Las Vegas. Please complete the online form to share your story and any photos you may have from past UCAOA events.
Effective leadership requires listening and learning from staff
Good leadership isn't about telling people what to do. It's about listening to what they have to tell you. Your center team — providers and staff — are a great source of information about what is working, what is not working and how to improve your operation, but only if you're willing to learn from what they have to say. Just as it's impossible to build a building from the roof down, effective leadership starts from the bottom up. It entails listening with sincerity — people can sense in your body language and facial expressions someone who listens just to pacify them. And they can sense the "big phoney" whose words and actions don't align. Only by listening and learning from your people can you effectively lead them.
If you have tips or advice to share with others, please send your submission along with any photos to Amanda Mannina at email@example.com. Your idea may be included in an upcoming issue of UCAccess.
Now online in JUCM
One of the must-read articles in the January issue of JUCM is our practice management feature on how to build a culture of compliance in urgent care. As author Damaris L. Medina notes, audit activity from government and private payers for everything from billing and coding to HIPAA and kickbacks is increasing. Identifying areas of risk and crafting a well-structured and tailored compliance program to address those gaps, therefore, is more important than ever for urgent care centers. To read "Identifying Risks and Finding Shelter in an Urgent Care Compliance Program," turn to page 17 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our author guidelines.
Akron General to open urgent care centers for minor illnesses, injuries
Akron Beacon Journal
Next month, Akron General in Akron, Ohio, is opening the first of at least four planned urgent care centers for patients who need immediate care for minor illnesses and injuries. The health system's first walk-in center will be located at 33 North Ave., Tallmadge, where Akron General already has outpatient diagnostic services. Urgent care centers are becoming a more common option for healthcare consumers to get walk-in medical care. Since 2008, the number of urgent care centers nationwide has swelled from 8,000 to about 9,300, with more than half of all centers located in suburbs, according to the Urgent Care Association of America, a national trade group. About 700 to 800 new centers are opening across the country each year.
BetterMed Urgent Care announces second location in Colonial Heights, Va.
BetterMed Urgent Care, formerly known as Emergency Physicians Immediate Care, has announced the opening of its second new facility in Colonial Heights, Va., to the public for services including urgent care and emergency care.
Doctors Express opens an urgent care center in South Plainfield, N.J.
Doctors Express held the Grand Opening of its urgent care center in South Plainfield, N.J., with a ribbon cutting with local dignitaries. The office opened its doors recently at 907 Oak Tree Ave., Suite H. The center will provide affordable quality urgent care to the residents and businesses of South Plainfield and surrounding communities. Read more
Is your urgent care center expanding, opening a new site or moving? Let us and we will include it in an upcoming edition of UCAccess. Send your information and any accompanying photos to Jami Kral at email@example.com.
Don't believe the hype: Health insurers think Obamacare is going to be fine
The Washington Post
Obamacare's troubled rollout hasn't scared insurers out of the marketplace. Instead, speaking to thousands of healthcare investors gathered in San Francisco, plan executives describe the Affordable Care Act as, at worst, a fixable mess and, at best, a major growth opportunity.
National support grade for EDs is a dismal D-plus
In the past five years, the nation's support for emergency medicine has fallen from a lower-than-average C-minus to a dismal D-plus, according to the latest report card on national emergency medicine policy issued by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The report card measures conditions and policies under which emergency care is being delivered nationwide and on a state-by-state basis, not the quality of care provided by hospitals and emergency providers.
UnitedHealth to open Optum Clinic Urgent Care facilities in Houston
Houston Business Journal
Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company, plans to open two of its first Optum Clinic Urgent Care facilities nationwide in the Houston area. The clinics will be in the Copperfield and Tanglewood communities and are expected to open later this month and in February, respectively.
| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.