Change to Illinois Law Ends Restrictions on the Term 'Urgent Care'
On May 23, 2014, the Illinois legislature passed SB3506, an amendment to the Emergency Medical Treatment Act, which previously prohibited use of the term "urgent care" by any facility other than a licensed hospital or freestanding emergency department. With this change to the law, centers which have had to refer to themselves as "immediate care," "convenient care," "walk-in care," and other terms can now appropriately utilize the term "urgent care" in their signage and branding.
In support of the bill, the Illinois General Assembly found that excess utilization of hospital emergency rooms for injuries and illness that could be treated in less intensive clinical settings leads to increased medical and insurance costs and that there is a need to more effectively educate consumers about the appropriate use of emergency rooms and other facilities for non-scheduled visits.
Dr. John Koehler of Rockford, Illinois, former UCAOA Board Member and founding partner of Physicians Immediate Care, played an instrumental role in lobbying for this change.
For more specifics on SB3506, click here.
Sunshine Act Physician Registration Open
Passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, the "Physicians Payments Sunshine Act," now known as "Open Payments," requires that certain manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) information about payments or other transfers of value they've made to physicians or teaching hospitals. Effective June 1, physicians can complete the first phase of registration that will be necessary to review and appeal information about their relationships with industry before it is made available to the public later this year.
Results of practice model survey
UCAOA conducted an informal survey to obtain a synopsis on the urgent care industry's primary practice models and physician specialties. Of those urgent care centers that participated in this quick survey, 63 percent require their physicians to be board certified in a primary specialty. Click here to see the complete results.
Online Self-paced Certified Medical Examiner Training course
UCAOA has partnered with Concentra Health Services Inc. to offer an online Certified Medical Examiner Training course. This 12-hour online course is self-paced, allowing you to train conveniently and affordably. Participants will register through UCAOA but take the training course using Concentra's learning portal. UCAOA has negotiated for members the special discount of $50 off the list price of $350, making the cost of this online course much less than other comparable offerings. Click here to get started via UCAOA's website.
Live webinar: Billing Audits and Compliance
Most government audits historically were limited to hospital payments; however, both government and commercial payers are now beginning to turn their attention to Part B payments, specifically E/M services billed by urgent care. Don't be caught off guard! Join us from 1 to 2 p.m. Central on Thursday, June 19, when Damaris Medina, attorney at Michelman & Robinson, LLP, leads the live webinar, "Billing Audits and Compliance." Click here for complete details and to register.
New UCAOA logo merchandise
UCAOA has launched a line of affordable, high-quality logo merchandise. Show your urgent care pride by purchasing UCAOA-branded men's or women's polo shirts, fleece jackets, and uniform scrubs. Business accessories are also available so you can show your support in meetings or the office. Pick up an item for yourself or give as a gift to staff. Start shopping now.
HIPAA for Urgent Care Centers: A Primer
Urgent care operators rely on many other professionals for the goods and services required to run a solid business operation, among them, lawyers. One of the must-read articles in the June issue of JUCM is our practice management article, a primer on how to select and stay on good terms with your attorney—from hiring to charges to avoiding pitfalls in the relationship. To read "HIPAA for Urgent Care Centers: A Primer" by Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, turn to page 20 online (or in print).
The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine (JUCM) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our author guidelines.
Invisible resource, most important
Urgent care operators work with five resources—time, people, money, facilities, and equipment. Of these five, time is the hardest to manage because it cannot be seen. Yet this invisible resource determines everything you can accomplish with the other four.
The integration of occupational medicine and urgent care
The Ambulatory M&A Advisor
When looking for ways to effectively increase the revenue and patient volume of an urgent care center, there's one combination that appears to be a recipe for success: urgent care and occupational medicine. Adding one specialty to the other, a center can expand its business through extended hours of operation and even through growth into different locations. To uncover the balance for creating a consistent flow of business, read more.
More patients flocking to ERs under Obamacare
Since the Affordable Care Act took effect, many hospital ERs across the nation are reporting a spike in the number of patients per month – many of whom aren’t actually facing true emergencies. That's just the opposite of what many people expected under Obamacare. Nationally, nearly half of ER doctors responding to a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians said they've seen more visits since Jan. 1, and nearly nine in 10 expect those visits to rise in the next three years.
Measles cases in the United States reach 20-year high
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Two hundred and eighty-eight cases of measles were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. between Jan. 1 and May 23, 2014. This is the largest number of measles cases in the United States reported in the first five months of a year since 1994. More than ever healthcare providers need to be alert to the possibility of measles and be familiar with the signs and symptoms so they can detect cases early.
Why your office should be like a jazz jam session
Newswise via Iowa State University
Every organization has a culture defined by its rhythm and harmony, much like music. Think about your office. Is it more like a jazz jam session or a finely tuned orchestra? Or is it just the opposite and similar to an open mic night, or a place where everyone wants to play the jazz flute? Everyone can't play the same instrument and finding balance is most important for office culture and the success of your business.
10 cities where patients are most or least happy with physicians
Becker's Hospital Review
Vanguard Communications has ranked the nation's largest cities by physician reviews in its Happy Patient Index. Patients who review physicians online tend to be overwhelmingly positive: 56.8 percent give their physicians four stars (out of five) or better; however not all patient are as happy with their physicians.