e-Voting now open for UCAOA Board of Directors' election
For the first time, all UCAOA members can participate in electing new UCAOA board members. The UCAOA election process historically took place at the annual convention. Thus, while proxy was available, only those present could participate. To provide this opportunity to all eligible individual/ voting members or urgent care member clinics, e-voting is now open March 10 through March 19 at 6 p.m. Mountain time (Las Vegas).
Each individual or clinic member is afforded vote(s) commensurate with the UCAOA level of membership. If you have a clinic membership, your vote will be weighted based on the number of clinics in your "organization." An email with a link to the ballot and personalized login credentials was sent out on March 10. Individual members received an email to the designated address in their profile, and clinic members have a designated corporate contact who received the email. If you have any questions, please email Jami Kral.
UCAOA has three open positions on the board as three incumbent members either will conclude their second term and are no longer eligible for re-election or must run for a second three-year term. For a listing of the candidates as well as their online biographies and video presentations, click here.
For those individuals attending the National Urgent Care Convention in Las Vegas, a brief presentation will be given by each candidate at the Members' Meeting on Wednesday, March 19. Voting kiosks will also be available in the Paris Foyer for those who elect to vote on-site.
Measuring and cultivating patient loyalty
In this month's expert blog, Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Board Member and Practice Management Content Advisor, describes that urgent care, as a volume-driven business, can't survive solely on new patients for profitability but rather, must cultivate a following of loyal patients who use the center repeatedly and tell others to do likewise. In addition to providing the quality of patient experience that spurs repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth, a center should devise a mechanism for reporting on patient loyalty. And once patient loyalty is understood, an urgent care center can then engage targeted activities to keep the center "top of mind" among its established patients. Alan will be presenting "Over the Top Success: Creating Raving Fans of Your Urgent Care Center" at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, March 20, during the UCAOA 10th National Urgent Care Convention in Las Vegas.
Please note: You must join Alan Ayers' blog to receive articles and updates and subscribe to a particular blog to be able to post and receive comments.
Late registration ends March 14 for Spring Convention
Time is running out to register for the UCAOA 10th National Urgent Care Convention held March 17-20 in Las Vegas. After March 14, on-site registration will be in effect and an additional $100 will be added to tuition. Avoid the increased cost and register now! This is your opportunity to join your urgent care colleagues and attend the largest urgent care convention and exhibition under one roof. This year's educational program has been expanded and enhanced and the Exhibit Hall sold out with more than 144 companies.
2019 and beyond: Perspectives of today's urgent care leaders
McGuireWoods Law Firm
Where is urgent care headed in the next five years? Geoff Cockrell, Bart Walker and John Saran of the McGuireWoods Law Firm have interviewed 15 urgent care leaders to gain perspectives on the issues and trends facing urgent care operators and clinicians. For balanced insight, the authors chose leaders representing urgent care operations of all sizes, as well as representatives from the association and investment communities. The white paper will be available both at the UCAOA National Urgent Care Convention held March 17-20 in Las Vegas, as well as being published in the March 20 edition of UCAOA's Urgent Care Access.
Now online in JUCM
The epidemiology and pathophysiology of asthma is the subject of this month's cover story, by authors Bradley M. Turner, MD, MPH, MHA, FCAP, FASCP and Janet M. Williams, MD, FACEP. The first of a two-part series, the article provides guidance on key aspects of medical history-taking and examination in patients with a condition that is becoming more prevalent and commonly seen in urgent care clinics. To read "Assessment and Management of Asthma Exacerbation in Urgent Care: Part 1," turn to page 9 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our author guidelines.
Measure patient loyalty at the household level
Patient loyalty refers to repeat utilization of urgent care patients for distinct medical episodes (ICD-9 codes) during the course of a year. Loyalty can be measured for individuals and for households. Given the influence of word-of-mouth within families and that healthcare decisions in a household are often made by an individual other than the patient (typically the wife/mother), in addition to looking at repeat utilization by a single patient, it's useful to know how many times everyone in a household (unique street address) utilize an urgent care center in a given year. Because dissatisfied patients presumably neither return to a center nor refer it to others, understanding patient loyalty reveals insights into the patient experience and quality of medical care offered.
Additional Resources: During the UCAOA National Urgent Care Convention, March 17-20, in Las Vegas, be sure to attend these sessions: "Helping Providers Create a Positive Patient Experience," by Genia Greenland and "Over the Top Success: Creating Raving Fans of Your Urgent Care Center," by Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc. If you can't attend, all the main convention sessions will be recorded and made available for sale after the event through the UCAOA Online Education portal. You can also purchase now "Tools for Improving Patient Experience" from the UCAOA 2013 Urgent Care Fall Conference.
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.
The Health Insurance Marketplace
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Patients that require health insurance coverage can apply for and enroll in a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. If assistance is needed, the Marketplace Call Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. The last day of open enrollment is March 31 for coverage beginning on May 1. Thereafter, the next proposed open enrollment period is November 15, 2014 through January 15, 2015. For more information, please visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services partner website at marketplace.cms.gov.
Rating sites becoming an important tool for patients
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite physicians' dislike of online rating sites, a survey finds patients are increasingly relying on them when shopping for a new doctor. A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School found that when choosing a doctor, physician rating sites weren't ranked as high as other factors such as word of mouth from family and friends or whether a physician accepts the patient's insurance. But there is evidence the rating sites have become an important tool. And use of them is likely to continue growing.
Urgent care centers aim to fill health need
Doctor's Express, which has more than 140 locations in 26 states, is one of several urgent care chains in Connecticut. On March 3, Doctor's Express opened its newest location on Boston Avenue in Bridgeport, Ct., and has plans to open three more offices in Greater Bridgeport in the near future. These clinics provide a variety of medical services, from treating colds and the flu, to setting broken bones to conducting school or employer mandated physicals. Some say the clinics are needed in today's healthcare landscape, as they help keep uninsured and underinsured people from seeking costly care in the emergency room.
New urgent care center to open in Carroll Gardens, N.Y.
ProHEALTH Urgent Care will open a new facility in the next few months at 330 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, N.Y. This facility will be the location for ProHEALTH, which has facilities in the Bronx and Jericho. While the new center will primarily offer urgent care services, its staff of nurses and physicians will be equipped to stabilize patients in emergency situations before they are transported to a hospital or emergency care facility.
Nemours acquires Orlando-area After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care
Nemours Children's Hospital is expanding its reach in Central Florida with the acquisition of five After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care facilities to help ensure continuity of care. The arrangement will offer advantages such as electronic health records being immediately available to physicians at both the hospital and urgent care.
| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.