Monday last chance to register for Spring Convention before tuition increases
Monday, March 3, at 5 p.m. Central is the last day to register for the 10th National Urgent Care Convention before tuition increases $100. If you haven't already done so, act now and secure regular tuition rates. This year's event has been enhanced and expanded to include eight Pre-Convention Courses and nearly 80 thought-provoking educational sessions, insightful keynotes, detailed lectures, hands-on courses, state networking meetings and more. You can custom-tailor a convention experience to meet all of your educational and career goals. Additionally, 140 exhibiting companies will be on site in our sold out Exhibit Hall to showcase the latest products, services and technologies in the urgent care industry. Don't pass up this opportunity to join your peers at the largest gathering of urgent care professionals under one roof!
Affordable Care Act (ACA) free CME webinars
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now offer free CME webinars for healthcare providers to help educate patients on the Affordable Care Act as well as other important issues to help better run your practice. Check out these resources available through Medscape:
Additional Resources: UCAOA offers free to members its recorded webinar Health Insurance Marketplace featuring CMS' Susan Gratzer. On Thursday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. Central, UCAOA will be hosting its live webinar: Contracting and Credentialing in the New Healthcare Era. If you missed it, be sure to check it out in the archived webinars section here.
Now online in JUCM
One of the must-read articles in the February issue of JUCM is our practice management feature on freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs), a new type of walk-in medical facilities currently making headlines. As author Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, notes, FSEDs may have a role to play in the U.S. health system but their billing process can catch unwary consumers with non-emergent conditions by surprise. To read "Understanding the Freestanding Emergency Department Phenomenon," turn to page 16 online (or in print).
Additional coverage on FSEDs:
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.
- Watch ABC 8's coverage of urgent care vs. emergency room: making the right choice, which highlights the sticker shock of one patient who received a $1,170 bill for a 10-minute visit to a Dallas-area FSED.
- Watch this video from an NBC Houston Local 2 investigation, which details the vast price difference for the same ailments treated in free-standing ERs versus UCs.
- Watch this coverage from NBC 9 News in Colorado that sheds light on the plight of one Colorado father who took his son to a FSED for an allergic reaction and received a $2,000 bill.
Window sign advertisements
Consumers with immediate medical needs want to be seen right away. In fact, wait times are the biggest detractor to urgent care patients. If your center is running without a wait, consider advertising such on a window sign or posting on your digital/LED sign. This can help capture drive-by traffic that may be undecided as to whether to seek urgent care based on a perception they may have to wait. It will also call visual attention to your center's storefront.
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.
CareWell adds online appointment booking
CareWell Urgent Care's online appointment feature allows patients to set up appointments at one of CareWell's eight locations via the Web or mobile device. "This service is especially helpful to people with children or those who might be coming from work," added Dr. Jack Coldwell, CareWell's director of medicine. "We're hopeful that it will allow patients to get in and out as quickly as possible, so they can get back to their busy lives."
Urgent care center to open in Malden, Mass.
Doctors Express is poised to open a new urgent care center on March 21 at 219 Centre St., in Malden, Mass. This will be the 10th Doctors Express in Massachusetts. The center will have six treatment rooms, a waiting area, X-ray, on-site lab and nurses' station and be staffed by physicians, medical assistants and X-ray technicians.
Immediate care facility opens in Will County, Ill.
Physicians Immediate Care recently announced the grand opening of its sixth clinic in Will County, Ill., providing Frankfort residents a convenient solution to urgent and unexpected healthcare needs. The state-of-the-art 3,700-square-foot clinic is located at 21035 LaGrange Road.
New urgent care facility hopes to bring quality service to Hoboken's busiest residents
UCAOA Certified Urgent Care (CUC) Center AstraHealth opened its urgent care center this week at 95 Hudson St. in Hoboken, N.J. AstraHealth, unlike many urgent care facilities, accepts most major health insurance, as well as occupational medicine and worker's compensation, a fact which the company's medical director Dr. Raghu Varma said he would make known to Hoboken's small businesses.
Retail, urgent care clinics grow amid healthcare changes
All across the country, walk-in medical clinics — in the form of retail clinics and urgent care centers — have been springing up to cater to those seeking more customer-friendly and time efficient healthcare. The boom in urgent care is even more noticeable. The Urgent Care Association of America, an industry group, estimates that there are approximately 9,000 urgent care facilities nationwide, with at least 300 opening annually since 2008. About 55 percent are located in suburban areas. The bulk of the centers are run by doctors' groups, corporations and hospitals.
Solo practices still lagging in EHR adoption
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The meaningful use incentive program has spurred a lot of growth in health IT use. But a digital divide still exists between solo practices and their larger counterparts, and between independent practices and those that belong to an integrated health delivery system. Between 2009 and 2012, the rate of electronic health record use among primary care physicians increased from 46 percent to 69 percent, according to a report by The Commonwealth Fund, published in the February issue of the Health Services Research journal. But, the report found, practice size was a major determinant of health IT adoption.
Enhanced Equity Funds-backed NextCare Holdings announces new $145 million credit facility
Enhanced Equity Funds, a healthcare focused private equity fund in the lower middle-market, has announced that its portfolio company NextCare Holdings, a provider of urgent care and occupational medical services, successfully completed the refinancing of a $145 million Senior Secured credit facility. A portion of the proceeds was used to finance NextCare's expansion into the Tulsa market with the acquisition of two Tulsa-based urgent care companies, MedCenter and ERgent Care.
| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.