Benchmarking survey invitation
This year, all urgent care clinics are welcome to participate in the UCAOA 2014 Benchmarking Survey. This survey now accommodates all models and sizes of urgent care centers to ensure data accurately reflect our growing industry. Furthermore, the 2014 Benchmarking Survey is being conducted on a new secure cloud-based, interactive platform that allows you to log in and out at your convenience, saving your input incrementally. UCAOA encourages you to step through the entire platform, enter your data and experience this new approach to benchmarking.
UCAOA is also aware that an email was sent in error to all clinic contacts on Tuesday, April 1, requesting participation in the 2014 Benchmarking Survey. This email caused much confusion and UCAOA apologizes. UCAOA is working with Dynamic Benchmarking to revise the email invitation to include the correct login information and provide further clarification on the survey process and participation incentives. Expect to see the revised email invitation in your inbox on Thursday, April 3; please note that the invitation will come from firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line – Urgent Care Association of America – Benchmarking Survey Invitation.
If you or your clinic do not receive this invitation and would like to participate or learn more, please feel free to contact Jami Kral, membership director, at email@example.com.
Walgreens investigation: A reminder for patient privacy diligence
The Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation of Walgreens’ new store layout, which while providing a more collaborative, open working environment, could potentially jeopardize patient privacy. For urgent care operators who seek to provide a retail-like patient experience, this action is a reminder to always be diligent in adhering to regulations that protect patients. To read this members-only exclusive content, sign into UConnect and click here.
Additional Reading: Ten Activities to Safeguard Patient Privacy in Urgent Care, written by Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc; and 5 Steps for Safeguarding PHI in the New Healthcare Environment, as published in Becker's Hospital CIO.
Emotional labor: The overlooked human toll of urgent care service
In order to provide an outstanding patient experience that will spur repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth, providers and staff working in urgent care must constantly project a welcoming, respectful and skillful demeanor that puts patients at ease and reflects the professionalism that patients expect. But what happens when employees have a bad day or the demands of the center become overwhelming such that employees don't feel like projecting the image expected by patients? As with any service business, there are times when those working in urgent care have to "put on face" to deliver the service expected. In this month's expert blog, Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Board Member and Content Advisor, introduces the term "emotional labor" in the context of urgent care and provides actionable suggestions on preventing the employee burnout that can result.
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.
Live webinar: Improving Your Staff Morale
Join us from 1 to 2 p.m. Central on Thursday, April 17, when Carole Parks, MD, Practice Velocity EMR Physician Specialist and Belgrade Urgent Care medical director, presents the live webinar Improving Your Staff Morale. During this on-hour presentation, Dr. Parks describes the differences in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how these may influence staff morale in your center. She also shares how to incorporate FLOW to enhance staff morale, develop employment guidelines and promote team building activities. Five changes will be identified for integration into your center to improve morale and promote positive energy among staff. Click here for more information and to register now.
Now online in JUCM
If you enjoyed last month's cover story, you'll want to read Part 2 in our April issue. In the conclusion of a series, authors Bradley M. Turner, MD, MPH, MHA, FCAP, FASCP and Janet M. Williams, MD, FACEP, provide an overview of the urgent care provider's role in effective long-term management of asthma—from use of pharmacotherapy to treatment protocols to provision of a written action plan at discharge. To read "Assessment and Management of Asthma Exacerbation in Urgent Care: Part 2," 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.
Measuring re-check/follow-up rates
It is good clinical practice to ask patients to follow-up or re-check on an initial medical episode. An "episode" is the specific medical condition (ICD-9 diagnosis code) that the patient reported to the urgent care center. Not only can re-checks generate additional revenue for the center, they can result in improved medical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Centers should measure and track their re-check rates over time, looking at consecutive visits related to the same ICD-9 code, typically within a set time period — such as 14 days — to avoid counting recurring episodes of the same diagnosis over the course of a year. Also keep in mind that a re-check or follow-up can be positive (the patient followed the provider's advice to return to assure the patient has cleared the issue) or negative (the patient returned because the provider made an incorrect diagnosis, prescribed the wrong drug, the condition didn’t improve, etc.), so re-checks/follow-ups are just one measure of patient loyalty.
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.
Good news and bad news for proponents of ICD-10 delay
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
It's déjà vu all over again for the healthcare field. Except this time it's a twofer. With the passing of H.R. 4302, known as the Protecting Access to Medicare Act, on March 31, Congress delayed a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate payment formula for a 17th time. And ICD-10 was delayed for a fourth time. The only step needed to make both delays a reality is a signature from President Barack Obama. The ICD-10 delay was especially surprising, and disappointing, to many industry leaders.
ICD-10 delay puts pressure on CMS for answers
A new law that delays national implementation of the next-generation medical coding system known as ICD-10 has focused intense attention on the CMS to provide clarity for how hospitals, doctors and insurance companies should move forward. Without any debate on the coding system, the Senate on Monday passed the House's Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which delays cuts in physicians' Medicare rates and also puts off implementation of ICD-10 until 2015 at the earliest. President Barack Obama signed the legislation Tuesday afternoon.
Affordable Care Act's deadline day arrives — now what?
By Ross Lancaster
March 31 marked the last day of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's controversial and signature domestic policy achievement. Despite the well-publicized deadline, the White House has announced that those who have started the application process on HealthCare.gov will be granted an extension to complete the process. With a flood of last-minute applications, the day started out as something of a microcosm for the often-maligned law's rollout.
Prime Urgent Care announced mew medical care services
Prime Urgent Care, based in the Houston suburb of Pearland, Texas, announces the offering of its new medical care services. The new urgent care services include X-rays, drug screening, stitches, the administration of IV fluids and treatments for seasonal cold and flu symptoms. Patients accessing Prime Urgent Care for medical attention can expect to be seen by medical professionals and board certified physicians.
Five Star Urgent Care expands with new office in Fairmount, N.Y.
Business Journal News Network
Five Star Urgent Care has opened a second office in the Syracuse area located at 3504 W. Genesee St. in Fairmount, N.Y. The healthcare provider first entered the Syracuse market last May and it also operates locations in Ithaca, Big Flats and Jamestown. Five Star also plans to open offices in DeWitt and Corning.
Practice Velocity selects InteliChart to support MU Stage 2 in urgent care marketplace
Wisdom Digital Media
Practice Velocity has selected InteliChart's 2014 ONC-certified patient portal as its exclusive patient engagement solution. As a result of this partnership, urgent care centers and medical practices using Practice Velocity's EHR may offer patients access to InteliChart's patient portal, enhancing workflows, increasing revenue and enabling patients to engage in their own care and manage their health.
FastMed Urgent Care acquires Advanced Urgent Care
Triangle Business Journal
FastMed Urgent Care, the sixth-largest urgent care provider in the United States, has acquired Advanced Urgent Care to now form the largest independent operator of urgent care clinics in the country. FastMed has locations in North Carolina and Arizona; Advanced has locations in and around Phoenix, Ariz.
| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.