UCAOA representatives travel to Ohio Statehouse for meetings
UCAOA representatives traveled to Columbus, OH this week (Jan. 27) to meet with key state lawmakers to clear up any misunderstandings after a television news story about an Ohio urgent care center caught their attention. The news story, which stemmed from a consumer complaint, aired Sept. 22, 2014 on a Dayton television station and referred erroneously to urgent care centers as "unregulated." Two state senators, Sen. Shannon Jones and Sen. Bill Beagle, vowed to look into the matter.
The UCAOA Health & Public Policy (HP&P) Committee swiftly responded to the story by issuing a "call to action" for Ohio urgent care centers and arranging meetings at the Ohio Statehouse to set the record straight on urgent care centers and to avert undue legislative or regulatory actions aimed at urgent care centers in Ohio. Participating in the January 27 meetings were UCAOA and UCCOP Board Member Sean McNeeley, MD, who practices in Ohio and also serves on the HP&P Committee, and representatives of Ohio-based Hometown Urgent Care, Manoj Kumar, JD, CPA, chief executive officer, and Narinder Saini, MD, medical director.
Pay differential survey results
UCAOA conducted a brief survey last week of urgent care centers (UCCs) to obtain insight into whether pay differentials are provided to staff for nights, weekends and/or holidays. Of those UCCs that participated, 62 percent offer pay differentials, and of those, 91 percent offer them for holidays. See the full results of the brief survey here.
Planning. Adapting. Succeeding: New strategies for changing times
The 2015 Spring Convention to be held April 27-30 in Chicago spans three days to provide the entire urgent care team with effective business and planning strategies and challenging basic and advanced clinical skills sessions. This year's event has been revamped and expanded to provide attendees with more forward-looking sessions geared toward taking you beyond day-to-day business operations and arming you for long-term success in urgent care.
A highlight of the 2015 Spring Convention will be the two keynotes held on Tuesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 30 from 8-9:15am. Join us for these thought-provoking presentations. Best-selling author Sally Hogshead opens the convention with an inspiring and informative keynote detailing how you can succeed by harnerevampssing your first "9 seconds" to get others to fall in love with your ideas. Not to be outdone, Co-founder and CEO of athenahealth, Jonathan Bush, will close the convention by calling for a revolution in health care by focusing on cost, quality and technology. See all the events and networking planned for the 2015 Spring Convention, and don’t forget to nominate yourself or a colleague for an urgent care industry award! Register today to join your peers at the industry's largest event dedicated to urgent care.
| 2014 BENCHMARKING RESULTS
Urgent care statistics for improved decision making
According to the 2014 Benchmarking Survey, salary expenses are 43.1% of the total center revenue. Find out how your center measures up against this industry benchmark by purchasing the UCAOA 2014 Urgent Care Benchmarking Report and/or Platform. The Benchmarking Report is a comprehensive PDF file containing data on a national level, providing comparisons of prior survey results (2013 vs. 2011). The Benchmarking Platform is dynamic reporting capable of drilling down through the use of filters (regions, urban vs. rural, ownership) and renders data as easy-to-understand graphs for use in personalized PowerPoint presentations. Additionally, as the survey data collection process continues, year-over-year comparisons will become available. Depending on your organization's needs — high-level view of where the industry is headed (report) versus how does this data compare by region (platform) — UCAOA offers the 2014 Benchmarking Survey Results as a PDF report, an interactive platform and a bundled package for the best of both worlds. Click here to purchase this informative analytical tool and start understanding the nuances of the urgent care industry.
Physician burnout: A growing crisis
Physician burnout has increased by 16 percent in just 2 years according to the recently released Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report 2015. In Medscape's Physician Lifestyle Report 2013, 39.8 percent responded that they were burned out; however, this year that number went up to 46 percent. The 2015 Medscape survey results reflect the highest burnout rates found in critical care (53 percent) and emergency medicine (52 percent), and with half of all family physicians, internists, and general surgeons reporting burnout. Click here to access the report.
Simulation IV fluids update
UCAOA reached out to Wallcur, the manufacturer of Practi-0.9 percent sodium chloride solution (a simulated IV saline solution), which was shipped to medical clinics, surgical centers and urgent care facilitates in numerous states, and subsequently administered to patients. Wallcur stated that it appears the simulation IV fluids ended up in some urgent care centers due to ineffective labeling on Wallcur distributor web sites. Wallcur is currently having all its distributors find out if any other clinical centers were mistakenly sold simulation IV fluids, and has asked distributors to pull the product out of the centers and provide credit on those units. Any urgent care center that finds Wallcur fluids in the center can return them for credit and is encouraged to do so. Wallcur is working with the FDA to make sure that labeling (from its boxes, fluid bags and on distributor web sites) is robust and clear.
Measles outbreak in Los Angeles County associated with Disneyland Parks
County of Los Angeles Public Health / California Department of Public Health
The California Department of Public Health reports that as of 1/28/15, measles has been confirmed in 79 California residents since late December 2014. Related cases have occurred in multiple states and in Mexico. In Los Angeles County (LAC) currently, there are 12 confirmed measles cases with 10 cases directly linked to the outbreak associated with Disneyland Parks. Healthcare providers should consider the diagnosis of measles among persons presenting with febrile rash illness. Read more to access the actions requested of providers and click here for the latest confirmed cases of measles as published by the California Department of Public Health.
2014 health coverage and taxes
UCAOA via CMS
Did you know that your 2014 health coverage may affect your income taxes? If you had non‐Marketplace Essential Health Coverage for every month of 2014 for yourself, your spouse (if filing jointly), and anyone you could or did claim as a dependent, you'll just check a box on your tax return. An estimated 75 percent of tax filers fall into this category. If you enrolled in a health plan through the Marketplace in 2014, you'll get Form 1095-A in the mail from the Marketplace by early February. It includes basic information that you'll need to know about your household's enrollment, premium payments, and premium tax credit amounts. You will need this form when you file your taxes in order to fill out new forms 8962 (Premium Tax Credit Form) and 8965 (Exemptions). If you didn't have health coverage for all or part of 2014, your income taxes could be affected. You may have to qualify for a health coverage exemption or pay a fee with your federal income tax return. Click here to learn more about exemptions. 2014 Fees are $95 a person ($47.50 per child) or 1 percent of yearly household income. For more information about fees, click here.
Millions signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Nationwide, 9.5 million consumers selected or were automatically reenrolled in quality, affordable health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace through the second month of 2015 Open Enrollment, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS sets goals for expanding new Medicare payment models
The Obama administration wants 30 percent of payments for traditional Medicare benefits to be tied to alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations by the end of 2016 and set a goal of hitting 50 percent by the end of 2018. It is the first time that the federal agency has set specific goals for overhauling the payment system for standard Medicare beneficiaries, which has traditionally relied on a fee-for-service model.
Advertise in tourism brochures
While on vacation or attending conferences away from home, tourists are prone to food poisoning, sunburn, cold/flu, and injuries requiring urgent care. In high traffic tourism areas, consider advertising in maps provided by hotels or convention bureaus to provide a ready reference to tourists at their time of need.
ExpressMed Urgent Care adds a center in New Albany, Ohio
Columbus Business First
ExpressMed Urgent Care grew to three sites from a single office 2014 and has plans to extend the chain through Central Ohio. The second site opened in Gahanna in October after renovation of a former bank branch and it bought a New Albany urgent care in December. "We're working on a number of locations as we speak," said Mike Bourland, CEO of both Columbus-based HealthServe and ExpressMed. The goal is to open six to eight centers in metro Columbus
MedExpress offers tips when to visit urgent care for flu
Virtual Press Office
As flu season progresses, patients across the country continue to seek flu and illness treatment from a variety of healthcare locations. In a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 48 percent of patients who visited the emergency room were not admitted. Urgent care centers have the ability to offer testing, medication, X-rays, IV fluids, blood work and can also quickly assess if a patient is in need of emergent care. MedExpress offers tips to help patients determine the proper location to seek treatment.
American CareSource announces appointment of Anthony Levinson as CFO
American CareSource Holdings, Inc, operator of urgent care centers and a national network of ancillary healthcare providers, announced Friday the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer Anthony Levinson. "We are delighted to welcome Mr. Levinson to our team. The strength of his finance and accounting background, coupled with his healthcare transactional experience, made him an excellent candidate for the CFO role," said Dr. Richard W. Turner, the company's chairman and CEO.
5 promising healthcare changes, initiatives and investments
Becker's Hospital Review
2015 is going to be full of healthcare innovation. Based on a national survey conducted by Intermountain, some of the most promising innovations of 2015 include new payment models in the form of risk-based or pay-for-performance incentive models, electronic medical records (EMR), preventive care through greater education and promotion of specialty services and others.
Ebola vaccine tests to begin in West Africa
Within the next few weeks, two potential vaccines against the Ebola virus will begin in West Africa. Plans are underway to conduct large-scale, random double-blind controlled trials of vaccine candidates in Liberia and Sierra Leone. "A safe and effective Ebola vaccine will undoubtedly be a critical important tool to prevent Ebola virus infections in future outbreaks," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Up to 27,000 people are expected to participate in the trial, which will take up to a year to complete.
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