DOT exam pricing: what are you charging?
With the May 21st deadline looming, which requires all medical examiners to be certified and listed on the National Registry in order to perform DOT exams, many urgent care centers are analyzing the costs associated with providing this service. Will the changes impact the cost of DOT exams provided at your urgent care center? Please take our 3-question survey, which takes mere seconds to complete.
Additionally, UCAOA has partnered with Concentra Health Services, Inc. to provide online access to their 12-hour Certified Medical Examiner Training course that meets requirements for the National Certified Medical Examiner test. This is an online, self-paced course. UCAOA members receive a $50 discount off the list price of $350. Click here to get started (log in is required to access.)
2014 Benchmarking Survey data collection period extended
The Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey is our industry's pivotal resource for collecting pertinent data and information on how the urgent care community operates (all data collected is de-identified and confidential.) The survey's success depends on the participation of urgent care centers, like yours. We understand participation requires a 30-minute commitment when all your information is at hand. Therefore, UCAOA is offering FREE access to the reporting platform when you complete 60 percent of the survey now by June 15. We are extending our incentive deadline to obtain more quality feedback from urgent care centers and to produce a robust reporting platform, which will provide you with metrics to help remedy the challenges you face regarding staffing, compensation, billing, technology, marketing, and many others. The data obtained through the survey also are used to educate others about what urgent care is and help to dispel the inaccuracies that are sometimes made by media, third party payers and even governmental agencies. For more information on the 2014 Benchmarking Survey, click here.
Save the Date: Urgent Care Fall Conference
UCAOA will hold its Urgent Care Fall Conference from October 9 – 11, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. This annual event spans 2 ½ days and attracts 300 physicians, midlevel providers, urgent care center owners, operators, administrators, managers, and others. This year's educational program will feature many new sessions to help you tackle the most challenging issues you face as an urgent care clinician and professional. Additionally, the conference format is now open, which means you can attend any track that piques your interest. Be sure to check out the reasons why you can't miss this innovative and productive event, and mark your calendars for July 1, when registration opens.
Free webinar 'After the Enrollment Deadline: Connecting With the Newly Insured CMS'
According to the White House, 8 million people have signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace and another 4.8 million have enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, many of whom are insured for the first time. Join CMS representatives Susan Gratzer and Stefanie Costello for a free live webinar on Thursday, May 29, from 1-2 p.m. Central when they discuss the tools and resources available to help providers and their staff connect with these newly insured patients. Click here for details and to register.
'HIPAA for Urgent Care Centers: A Primer'
One of the must-read articles in the May issue of JUCM is our practice management article, a seven-step plan for ensuring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by experts Bart Walker and Meggan Bushee. The very nature of urgent care practice, with its high-volume, walk-in environment and exposure to the public, makes it likely that providers will face increasing scrutiny — and possible penalties — from the federal government for violations of HIPAA requirements. To read "HIPAA for Urgent Care Centers: A Primer," turn to page 20 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.
Leaders provide an example
Leaders must be willing to jump in and help when needed, instead of thinking they are above any job. Just because someone is in a leadership role doesn't mean he is smarter or better than those in other roles. A leader who refuses to "roll up his sleeves" creates a culture in which "it's not my job." Leaders must provide an example of patient care and service that others will follow.
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.
Get to know your legislators
On May 2, Dr. John Kulin attended the Medical Society of New Jersey's inaugural Physician Advocacy Day. The agenda addressed many different issues and gave the opportunity to meet with several state senators and assemblymen. A key session was held on grassroots lobbying by several lobbyists and an assemblyman. The take home message was that legislators listen when they receive calls, letters or e-mails from people within their district. The group gave several examples of legislation where one letter from a constituent made a difference in that legislator's support of a bill. While lobbyists and other professionals keep us apprised of legislation, the act of a concerned provider or staff member is what can make the difference. Get to know your legislators before there is an issue, each of us can make them an advocate for Urgent Care Medicine.
"As a UCAOA and North East Urgent Care Association board member, I encourage each of you to identify the key contacts in your state," says Dr. Kulin. The UCAOA Health & Public Policy Committee is preparing talking points and templates for use at the local and regional level. Dr. Kulin adds "Our sphere of influence has great potential if we each take a role." Watch for more information in future issues of UCAccess or contact Patricia Ferchland at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can get more involved. If you hear of a legislative or regulatory issue heating up in your state, please notify UCAOA as soon as possible so we can help provide you and your colleagues with key information.
New urgent centers: Models of healthcare efficiency
A new breed of urgent care centers is cropping up that can handle most of the cases typically treated by emergency rooms but without all the red tape and overhead costs associated with hospitals. The Minneapolis-based Urgency Room is staffed by a board-certified ER physician, and can quickly determine whether you should be treated there, admitted to a hospital for more comprehensive treatment, or make an appointment to see your primary care doctor. The Urgency Room uses EPIC EHR software to integrate with primary care physicians, a key part of their strategy to ensure a more seamless and efficient level of care that can help reduce overall costs.
Experts weigh in on hospital - urgent care center joint ventures
The Ambulatory M&A Advisor
A high-interest topic of conversation among those involved in the urgent care center space is that of joint ventures between such centers and hospitals. Within this article, four expert professionals (which includes Steve Sellars, MBA, UCAOA board member and CEO of Premier Health) weigh in on what they think about these types of partnerships and how physician-owners should approach them.
Partnership shows trend to urgent care facilities
The urgent care business is thriving, with more centers opening across many parts of Georgia and the nation. Large hospital systems are also increasing their adoption of a retail-oriented strategy, with many getting into the urgent care business. That is the backstory of why the Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare system aligned with WellStreet and its seven urgent care centers in metro Atlanta. The two organizations announced a partnership this month that will rename the urgent care centers Piedmont Urgent Care by WellStreet.
Technology and data helping to improve stroke treatment
By Rosemary Sparacio
Evidence and research indicate that the mortality rate in the event of a stroke has improved. At one time, stroke was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., but it has fallen to fourth place. Stroke risk can be attributed to several factors. High blood pressure, high lipid levels, smoking and previous brain injury can all individually and together play a part in increased risk. But the control of all of these factors has improved thanks to recent research and technology.