UC Access April 26, 2012
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UCAOA News Meetings & EducationJUCMIndustry News


HSC Study on Urgent Care
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The Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan policy research organization in Washington, D.C., is conducting a study about urgent care centers in the United States. The aim of the study is to understand how urgent care centers, hospitals and health plans are addressing the urgent care needs of patients in six markets, and to understand business strategies that reduce costs and promote care continuity.

HSC will be conducting interviews in Phoenix, Detroit, Jacksonville, Fla., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Minneapolis and San Francisco. If your center is contacted, we encourage your participation. This is a unique opportunity for you to contribute to the national dialogue on the role of urgent care centers!

Meetings & Education

What Happened in Vegas ...
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... gets recapped in this issue of Urgent Care Access! Last week, UCAOA hosted its 8th annual National Urgent Care Convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The turnout was tremendous (738 total attendees/117 exhibiting companies), the courses packed and the networking intense. This meeting goes on record as UCAOA's biggest to date.

Here are a few highlights:
  • 53 percent of attendees held clinical designations, 47 percent were non-clinical
  • Some attendees traveled a long distance to join us, including: Alaska, Australia, Canada, Hawaii and Nigeria
  • Of the 117 exhibiting companies, 34 percent were first-timers
  • 215 attendees participated in the Footsteps for the Foundation Walk … together, they walked over 920 miles, and raised $23,350!
All the attendees gathered together for the Opening and Closing General Sessions, which covered timely industry topics "National Perspectives on the Future of Urgent Care," and "Success in Urgent Care ... What You Don't Know IS Hurting You." Both sessions were videotaped so we could share them with you: click here!

UCAOA members assembled during the Annual Members Meeting on Wednesday to get the latest association news and elect new directors. Congratulations Drs. William Gluckman and Nathan Newman!

Now that the Spring Convention has come to a close, there are three things to keep in mind:
  1. Course recordings will be available in the next few weeks. We'll let you know when they're posted.
  2. Keep the ideas and conversations going through UConnect – UCAOA's online member community
  3. Start planning now for the 2012 Fall Urgent Care Conference in New Orleans! Registration will open in the coming weeks.
We hope to see you in The Big Easy this October!


Now Online in JUCM
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A new urgent care Images Challenge case is now available only online in JUCM. Review the case of a 32-year-old woman who presented with a cough and fever. Consider what your diagnosis would be, then check the case resolution to see if you were right. To take the Images Challenge, go to http://jucm.com/iucc/?id=121.

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 e-mail to editor@jucm.com for information on our author guidelines.

Industry News

CMS proposes small pay hike for acute-care hospitals
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In a proposed rule, the CMS said it expects operating payments to acute-care hospitals will increase by about 0.9 percent in 2013. That figure includes a 2.3 percent net payment update — which accounts for inflation, productivity improvements, coding changes and other adjustments — and other policies included in the rule. Overall, the CMS said it expects total Medicare spending on inpatient hospital services will increase by about $175 million in fiscal 2013. More

Community health centers under pressure to improve care
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Nearly 1,200 federally funded community health centers fall short on key quality of care measures, according to federal data analyzed by Kaiser Healthy News and USA Today. The centers' performance most often lagged national averages on helping diabetics keep their blood sugar under control and screening women for cervical cancer. More

EHR market for urgent care centers wide open
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Unlike some providers, urgent care centers have more options when it comes to choosing an electronic health record system, according to a report from KLAS Research. The study, in which officials from 76 urgent care organizations were interviewed, found stand-alone urgent care centers, or those in a chain, tended to use "best of breed" EHR systems. Hospital-affiliated urgent care centers tended more to ambulatory or in-house emergency department EHRs. More

More physicians calling shots in latest round of ACOs
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Thousands of physicians will be among those coordinating patient care in the 27 accountable care organizations that were chosen to participate in the new Medicare shared savings payment model. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services selected physician groups, hospitals and health system organizations to be among the first networks that will share the potential rewards — and in some cases the risks — associated with coordinating quality and costs of care for beneficiaries, including at-risk populations. More

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