Brief survey: Antiviral medication use
In the United States, widespread flu activity is being reported in 44 states with 9,926 flu-related hospitalizations since the start of the 2014-2015 flu season. The use of antivirals such as Tamiflu, Relenza and Rapivab are often prescribed to patients with flu-like symptoms within the first 48 hours. However, a new study is questioning the effectiveness of antivirals for patients with flu-like symptoms who did not have the flu.
Please participate in this week's UCAOA brief survey so that we may obtain your feedback and insight regarding the use of antivirals for patient treatment in urgent care.
Emerging business models: Carolinas Healthcare virtual visits
What happens when urgent care is no longer the most convenient, fastest or cost-effective option for a community's episodic medical needs?
In this month's expert blog, Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Board Member and Practice Management Content Advisor, explores "virtual visits" which enable patients to see an urgent care physician from home via webcam and Wi-Fi connection. For urgent care competitors and the industry at large, consumer direct telemedicine can be considered a threat from the standpoint that patients avoid driving to, waiting at, and paying for the retail overhead of a walk-in facility. Just as Amazon.com has completely transformed the traditional bookstore business, "telemedicine from home" very well could start cannibalizing patients from conventional urgent care centers. To defend its business, urgent care really should be shifting upward in acuity, with centers focusing more on treating conditions and performing procedures and tests that cannot be accomplished via webcam. Ultimately, the impact of telemedicine upon urgent care will depend on patient adoption and acceptance of the technology. Please note content for logged in members only.
| Additional Resources: The UCAOA 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago) will feature these two sessions on Thursday, April 30: The Role of Telemedicine in Urgent Care from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and The Future of Urgent Care from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Live webinar: Stop hiring warm bodies! Advanced hiring techniques for urgent care owners/managers
Join Kurt Tullar, JD, on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. CT, when he offers his proven strategies for identifying the right employee for a position. A detailed analysis of the state and federal laws of what you can ask in an interview will be discussed as well as the rights of a candidate after employment begins. This advanced, one-hour course will give you the tools you need to find, hire and keep the best employees for your urgent care practice.
UCAOA members, log in to the UCAOA web site to register here. Guests, please click here to create a non-member individual profile to be able to register for this webinar and track purchases and CME credits.
44 Practice Management sessions that arm you for business success
Investing in your continuing education is a huge decision from a financial standpoint and time commitment. That's why the UCAOA Practice Management Content Subcommittee has devised an all-new Practice Management experience at our 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago.) Updated to deliver impactful, strategic and implementable content and advice, the Spring Convention's 44 Practice Management sessions prepare you for greater business and operational success. Have a look at the revamped program and register now to secure your seat. Additionally, if you're a clinician owner/operator, the 2015 Spring Convention offers a Basic and an Advanced Clinical Track as well as a Pre-Convention Hands-on Clinical Boot Camp. Never before has so much clinical content been offered under one roof conveniently and economically.
Flu hospitalizations of elderly hit record high, CDC says
The Associated Press
Flu-related hospitalizations of the elderly are the highest since the government started tracking that statistic nine years ago. About 198 out of every 100,000 people 65 and older have been hospitalized with flu-related illness this flu season. That's roughly 86,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
| Data Insight: According to the UCAOA 2014 Benchmarking Survey Platform, the median number of flu vaccines given to patients in urgent care during the 2013 fiscal year is 128. Learn more
Tamiflu controversy reignited by new study
The antiviral medication Tamiflu shortened the length of time patients experienced flu symptoms, and reduced rates of complications and hospitalizations from the virus, a new study finds. But it did not have an effect on those with flu-like symptoms who did not have the flu. The findings already are being challenged by some because they conflict with those of another report almost a year ago that raised serious questions about the drug's safety and efficacy.
President's 2016 budget aims at combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria
The White House
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year at least two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the U.S. alone, accounting for at least $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs. To help combat and prevent antibiotic resistance, the President's FY 2016 Budget nearly doubles the amount of Federal funding to more than $1.2 billion, of which $47 million will be distributed to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support evaluation of new antibacterial drugs for patient treatments.
FDA's investigation into patients being injected with simulated IV fluids continues
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
FDA and the CDC continue to investigate multiple instances of simulated saline solution being administered to patients and to alert healthcare providers and regulatory officials. Since late December when news broke about Wallcur's simulated Practi-0.9 percent sodium chloride solution mistakenly being administered to patients, FDA has worked to implement a voluntary recall, organized outreach efforts by holding 50-state teleconference calls, and reached out to other companies that market simulated products for training purposes to remedy potentially confusing labeling.
CMS' Coverage to Care initiative
UCAOA via CMS
Coverage to Care is a CMS initiative to help people with new health coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and other services, including preventive services. Resources include a step-by-step roadmap, fact sheets, a training guide and videos. These resources can be discussed with your newly- insured patients and made available in your urgent care center's waiting room. This link takes you to all the resources available including these two examples: Understand Your Coverage and Your Insurance Card. Materials can be ordered from the site or downloaded and printed.
When an urgent care center is located in a medical office building or hospital multi-specialty facility, it can benefit by raising awareness and capturing cross-traffic from other practices in the building. Consider placing point-of-sale or marketing materials in high-traffic areas of the medical office building, such as in the elevator lobby or by staircases, to raise awareness of your urgent care center among visitors and employees of the building's other tenants.
Demand for urgent care clinics is increasing with Obamacare
UCAOA Board Member and Clinical Content Advisor, Dr. William Gluckman, was interviewed by Fox News recently at his New Jersey-based urgent care center. In the story, Dr. Gluckman touches on the urgent care industry’s convenient and affordable care. The story also features a realty company representative speaking on how urgent care centers complement neighboring tenants in shopping centers. This opportunity was secured by UCAOA PR firm L.C. Williams and Associates in conjunction with the UCAOA PR Communications Committee. The segment ran 23 times on FOX affiliates across the country and twice on the national FOX News Channel, reaching more than 23.6 million people. Watch now
Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato receives national recognition
KEYC News 12
MCHS Mankato recently became the first urgent care facility in Minnesota to receive the Urgent Care Association of America's Certified Urgent Care (CUC) designation. MCHS Mankato joins 775 centers that have been certified by UCAOA since the program started in 2009.
PhysicianOne Urgent Care offers convenient flu care
PhyscianOne Urgent Care is providing timely medical care for flu sufferers of all ages, which is helpful during this year’s severe flu season. Patients can receive timely treatment for the flu without scheduling an appointment and that's an "ideal option for flu sufferers in need of fast relief," said Dr. Robert Rohatsch, CEO of PhysicianOne Urgent Care.
Share your urgent care content with UCAOA
Do you have media clips, helpful videos, articles or blog content that can help educate urgent care professionals or clinicians? UCAOA is a great resource for sharing ideas with like-minded urgent care peers, and through our robust communications vehicles, your knowledge and expertise can be disseminated to thousands. If you have educational content to share with urgent care professionals and clinicians, please email Amanda Mannina, marketing director, at email@example.com or call 331-472-3743.
CMS intends to modify requirements for Meaningful Use
The CMS Blog
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to update the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs beginning this year. These intended changes would help to reduce the reporting burden on providers, while supporting the long-term goals of the program. Among the considered changes is a shortened EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days.
Rhode Island receives 1st UC for mental health
The Boston Globe
Lifespan, Rhode Island's largest health system has opened a new psychiatric urgent care and outpatient center in East Greenwich. Rhode Island is ranked among the highest nationwide for people with serious mental health issues, and Lifespan's new facility will make mental health services more accessible.
Millennials are reshaping healthcare
By Scott E. Rupp
Global consumer collaboration consultancy Communispace recently released a report called, "Healthcare without Borders: How Millennials are Reshaping Health and Wellness," which examines millennial healthcare values and how they will impact businesses across the industry. The report focuses on several areas of millennials' lives, including technology. Millennials are far more likely than other generations to rely on mobile and online tools to monitor and maintain their health, the report states.
Consumer interest in telemedicine continues to rise
In yet another survey indicating rising consumer interest in telemedicine, 75 percent of patients who have not used telemedicine are at least "moderately interested" in it, according to an online poll conducted and funded by Software Advice. For the survey, received responses from 519 individuals over a two-day period who "may or may not represent client vendors of Software Advice."
Finding a job in healthcare: Negotiations
By Catherine Iste
Once a year, I have the pleasure of being a guest lecturer for an ethics and social leadership class at a local university. The class participants include master's students in nursing and healthcare informatics. My topic is always the same: I am asked to demystify human resources. This year, the students' questions focused on the following: negotiating an offer, dealing with bureaucracy, performance reviews and terminations. Let's tackle each of these topics, starting with salary negotiations.
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