UCAOA Summary: Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Payment and Policy Revisions for CY 2015
On July 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the CY2015 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on July 11 and will be open for public comment until September 2. CMS anticipates releasing the final rule around Nov. 1, 2014 and the adopted changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2015. Click here for more information on how these changes could affect you (member log-in required.)
Take our brief splinting and casting survey
Does your urgent care offer splinting and/or casting services? Let us know by participating in our brief four-question survey. Results will be published in next week's UCAccess.
Service quality in urgent care: Key to a successful center
Repeat visits and word-of-mouth referrals by loyal, satisfied patients are essential to achieving profitable volumes in urgent care. In this month's Practice Management feature, UCAOA Content Advisor and Board Member Alan Ayers explains that a center's reputation, its volume, and its profitability are all impacted by its service quality. Service quality assures each patient has a positive experience and that a center achieves consistency in services delivery by identifying areas in which the center is lacking and pinpointing solutions to those shortfalls. Over time, investments in service quality lead to greater volumes and thus more cash available for further investments that differentiate a center from its competition.
Additional Resource: The 2014 Fall Conference (Oct. 9-11) will offer three practice management tracks including Comprehensive Clinical Startup; Driving Volume to Drive Profits; and Achieving Operational Excellence in Urgent Care.
Fall Conference: Hands-On Clinical Boot Camp
During the UCAOA 2014 Fall Conference in Denver a special 2-day Hands-On Clinical Boot Camp will be held offering urgent care practitioners an affordable, succinct option for obtaining the clinical skills most used and needed in urgent care. Whether you’re new to urgent care or want to sharpen your skills, this boot camp offers hands-on training for all types of providers. Day 1 focuses on splinting and casting techniques from applying and removing fiberglass and plaster splints and casts to selecting the appropriate anesthetic for an injury. Day 2 is all about joint injections and advanced suturing skills with hands-on learning of subcuticular closures and joint injections to commonly occurring musculoskeletal conditions of the upper and lower extremities. Management of just two fractures or advanced-level suturing can pay for your tuition. Register by July 24 and save $100 with early tuition rates. Click here to learn more and to register.
One of the must-read articles in the July/August issue of JUCM is our practice management article, which is a new expert roundtable moderated by Associate Editor, Practice Management, Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc. The topic is telemedicine and the experts are Ralph Derrickson, CEO of CarenaMD; Karen Mathura, RN, JD, CPHRM, Claims & Risk Management Consultant at RCM&D, Inc.; Katherine (Kit) Sandstrom, FNP, a Family Nurse Practitioner at ZoomCare; and John Shufeldt, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP, CEO of MeMD and Urgent Care Integrated Network. In a live discussion, they presented real-world experience with telemedicine as a stand-alone service and integrated into an existing delivery model and offered perspective on legislative, regulatory, and policy aspects of this new frontier in health care. To read "Expert Perspectives on Telemedicine in Urgent Care", turn to page 19 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.
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Open your next center in Orange County, California
If you're looking to open an urgent care center in Orange County, California, a new construction property just became available. The brand new, free-standing building is located at 2102 N. Tustin Ave. in Santa Ana, CA; click here for more details.
If you're a realtor with listings ideal for urgent care centers, get your message in front of thousands of urgent care professionals by placing a classified advertisement on UCAOA's online members' community. Contact Jami Kral at email@example.com to place an ad order or click here for rates.
When opening a new urgent care center – if your center has visibility to drive-by traffic – consider pre-opening marketing of your center by a sign announcing that the center is opening soon on the site. As a twist, you can create anticipation around your center's construction. "Are you curious yet" (as to what's opening here)? As families drive by the construction site during their daily commutes, they may speculate and/or guess with one another as to what's being built. When you finally reveal the urgent care brand...then certainly word of mouth will spread as friends and family update one another that the "curious site" is actually a new urgent care center.
Urgent care owner pushes back against health insurance giant
The Post and Courier
The owner of Medcare Urgent Care is fighting back against the largest private health insurer in the state after the company announced it will narrow the list of in-network urgent care providers later this year. Dr. Radwan Hallaba, who founded Medcare in 2006, launched an online petition July 4, protesting BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina's decision.
WNY Immediate Care and BlueCross BlueShield reach agreement
Buffalo Business First
A new rate agreement will keep Western New York Immediate Care in-network with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York for the remainder of 2014. The agreement continues access for BlueCross BlueShield's 600,000 members in Upstate New York to Immediate Care's five Erie County locations, in addition to 12 other urgent-care-center sites in BlueCross BlueShield's provider network. It also solidifies a relationship that was in jeopardy after the two companies failed to come to terms on rates last fall for the 2014 contract year. Immediate Care fought to keep its existing agreement, refusing to agree to BlueCross BlueShield's community rates.
Mayor cuts the ribbon for new urgent care in Yonkers
CityMD (Yonkers, New York) celebrated a grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, July 2. Taking part in the ceremony was the Mayor of Yonkers, Mike Spano, who presented CityMD with a proclamation from the city. The new center is located at 2393 Central Park Avenue and it's the first location in Westchester. CityMD plans to open additional in White Plains and Hartsdale, New York.
American Family Care to partner with Baptist Health in eight clinics
Birmingham Business Journal
American Family Care is continuing its expansion through a new partnership with a central Alabama health system. The Birmingham-based urgent medical care provider is teaming with Montgomery's Baptist Health to add five PriMed urgent care clinics in Prattville, Wetumpka and Montgomery to its operations.
Emergency medical providers are taking their business to Main Street
The Dallas Morning News
ER locations are popping up in retail strips all over Dallas, and more are on the way. Real estate experts are predicting that the number of emergency medical retail storefronts could easily double in the Dallas region in the next 12 to 24 months due to its supply of available storefronts ranging from 10,000 to 14,000 square feet.
Mixed reactions to CMS 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for the 2015 calendar year late on Thursday, July 3, which doesn't include changes to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, but revises the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).
Visit the UCAOA web site Health Policy section for additional information and resources.
For-profit hospitals learning what nonprofit hospitals already know
Triangle Business Journal
Healthcare experts nearly unanimously agree that one of the big drivers of healthcare costs in the United States has been from emergency room visits for non-emergent reasons. People get bumps, bruises or minor cuts and go to the emergency room, which is really meant for major incidents. Because these ERs have such expensive equipment – useful for major injuries, but unnecessary for minor ones – patients who visit the ER for reasons that could be treated in an urgent care rack up a much higher bill than necessary. It's something that major hospital chains are apparently paying attention to now.
Nurses learn to work through generational diversity
By Keith Carlson
At this time in history, there are four generations currently working within the nursing profession. Although this diversity can be seen as a positive aspect of our collective culture, it is easy to understand that there is also room for misunderstanding and mistrust between the generations. This perceived generation gap is well worth our attention and positive intervention.