Survey results: Patients without insurance
UCAOA conducted a brief survey to obtain insight on whether urgent care facilities accept patients without any medical insurance. Of those centers that participated, 100 percent do accept patients without insurance. Click here to see the full results and to read the participant comments.
| Additional Resource: Look back at previous UCAOA mini survey data by accessing Data Insights.
| NATIONAL UC AWARENESS MONTH
Celebrate urgent care & bring awareness to our industry
Celebrate National Urgent Care Awareness Month this May! Urgent care centers are encouraged to host community events and staff activities during the week of May 18-22, 2015. UCAOA has created resources and ideas to help you celebrate; visit our web site to get started. Be sure to share your center's activities with UCAOA via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
House Passes SGR Repeal Bill; Action Moves to Senate
Today, March 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation by an overwhelming vote of 392 to 37 that would permanently repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) physician payment formula, averting a 21 percent SGR-induced cut scheduled for April 1, 2015, and would put Medicare on track to being a prudent rather than passive payer of Part B services. As of press time, it is expected the Senate will take up similar legislation that, if passed, the President has said he will sign into law.
Medicaid enrollment reaches 11.2 million individuals
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Twenty-eight states, plus the District of Columbia, have provided greater access to healthcare coverage to uninsured low-income individuals by expanding Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Among states that had implemented the Medicaid expansion and were covering newly eligible adults in January 2015, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment rose by 26.1 percent compared to the July-September 2013 baseline period, while states that did not expand Medicaid during the reporting period showed an increase of 7.8 percent over the same period. Likewise, nearly 11.7 million consumers nationwide selected or were automatically re-enrolled in health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, as of Feb. 22.
Strategic locations for urgent care centers
The Ambulatory M&A Advisor
Location is one of the most important determining factors when opening an urgent care center. UCAOA Board Member and Practice Management Advisor Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc states “One of the most common reasons consumers cite for using an urgent care center is its proximity to their home. So the first thing you should consider when picking a location is the number of households within one to three miles, as well as the demographic make-up of those households.” Location and visible signage are crucial for a strategically placed urgent care center, but there are other factors that should also be considered.
| Additional Resource: Interested in starting an urgent care center or adding on another location? Attend the Comprehensive Clinic Startup course to be held Sunday, April 26 and Monday, April 27 (prior to the 2015 Spring Convention.) Pertinent topics to be addressed include: ownership structure, site selection, pro forma development, contracting, and clinic set up.
MU stage 3 is out: 9 things to know
Becker's Health IT & CIO Review
CMS released its proposed rule for meaningful use stage 3, which is open for public comment through May 29. This last and final stage of the Federal EHR Incentive Program proposes every provider, hospital and critical access hospital will be required to attest to stage 3 in 2018, a solid, universal deadline. However, the rule offers flexibility in that providers can start to attest to stage 3 in 2017, if they choose to do so.
5 ways tech-savvy millennials alter healthcare landscape
Advances in technology empower millennials to alter healthcare delivery and insurance, according to a new consumer survey by PNC Healthcare. Online shopping for doctors, web-based diagnostic tools and research about treatment options at the finger-tips are informing healthcare decisions for millennials, replacing the single-source, primary care physician favored by older generations.
Urgent Care at the Crossroads
The urgent care industry is transforming and as urgent care providers and business professionals, it's imperative to remain at the forefront of progress and innovation. Better understand the future of urgent care and position your center for success by attending the 2015 Spring Convention Practice Management Track entitled Urgent Care at the Crossroads to be held on Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29. Timely courses will offer insight on such topics as case rates, integrated care delivery systems, ACOs, hospital-owned urgent cares and downstream revenue strategies, consumer behavior, differentiated your center, and patient-facing technologies. Don't delay in registering because after Thursday, March 26 tuition increases $100. UCAOA has discounted room blocks available at the Hyatt Regency Chicago and Swissotel, which are adjacent to one another and connected by the indoor walkway call the Chicago Pedway — look for Hyatt 56 and Swissotel 50 on this map.
Early imaging for back pain in older adults not associated with better outcomes
When to image older adults with back pain remains controversial. Many guidelines recommend that older adults undergo early imaging because of the higher prevalence of serious underlying conditions. However, there is not strong evidence to support this recommendation. According to a recent study published in JAMA, older adults who had spine imaging within 6 weeks of a new primary care visit for bask pain had pain and disability over the following year that was not different from similar patient who did not undergo early imaging.
Urine test for kidney cancer shows promise
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis developed a noninvasive method to screen for kidney cancer that involves measuring the presence of proteins in the urine. The researchers found that the protein biomarkers were more than 95 percent accurate in identifying early-stage kidney caners. In addition, there were no false positives caused by non-cancerous kidney disease. If kidney cancer is diagnosed early, before it spreads, 80 percent of patients survive.
Men are new target for osteoporosis treatment
Bone-health experts are making it a goal for greater numbers of men to be tested for osteoporosis when they come to a hospital or urgent care with a fractured wrist, vertebrae or other bones that weren't from a major accident or trauma. A recent study of about 440 people over 50 years old found women were three times as likely as men to be tested using bone-density after suffering common warning signs of early osteoporosis; however osteoporosis also affects many men.
| CORPORATE SUPPORT PARTNERS
Thank you to our CSPs
A cornerstone for continued growth and advancement of UCAOA is the longtime commitment and unrestricted support of our Corporate Support Partners (CSPs). Each CSP helps strengthen UCAOA activities, programs and events to further urgent care medicine. Please celebrate their support and join us in telling them THANK YOU! Be sure to stop by their booths in the Exhibit Hall of the UCAOA 2015 Spring Convention to learn more about their products and services. If you’re interested in the CSP program, click here for more information.
2015 Corporate Support Partners:
Wall of Personality Posters
UCAOA via Concentra
At the Concentra Urgent Care-Encino in Albuquerque, New Mexico, staff members get to know one another by creating personality posters, which reflect their teammates' interests, values and hobbies; favorite athletes, actors, restaurants, games, shows, and movies as well as their dreams and aspirations. Staff members interview their "partner" and then create the poster just for them. Posters are displayed in the hallway outside the breakroom so when colleagues need encouragement, their teammates can remember what's important and what motivates them.
7 first aid mistakes that are more dangerous than you think
In this consumer article, UCAOA Board member and UCCOP President Dr. William Gluckman provides sage advice on applying cold initially to a sprain or fracture to decrease swelling. He adds that heat boosts blood flow, which can make swelling worse, so reserve it for issues like back spasms.
Humana to sell Concentra for $1 billion
Health insurer Humana has sold Concentra, its occupational medicine and wellness arm, for more than $1.05 billion in cash to Select Medical Holdings Corp. and a private equity firm. The joint venture transaction between Select Medical, a specialty hospital operator, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe is expected to close in the second quarter this year. Select Medical will own 50.1 percent of Concentra, while Welsh Carson will own the remaining 49.9 percent.
Affordable Care Act faces more hurdles in coming months
By Rosemary Sparacio
The Affordable Care Act has survived one repeal attempt in the Supreme Court, as well as more than 50 repeal attempts by the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, President Barack Obama's signature legislation faces yet another significant challenge to its existence. In the current case before the Supreme Court (King v. Burwell), a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs this June would essentially cut off the healthcare law's tax credits/subsidies in roughly two-thirds of the states. Additionally, many Americans are still unaware of the penalty that will be assessed for those who have not signed up for coverage by April 15.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.