UC Access July 19, 2012
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UCAOA Patient Resources Clinical Consult JUCM Industry News


CDC Report on Life-Threatening Infections due to Unsafe Injection Practices
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This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report detailing two life-threatening outbreaks that occurred when healthcare providers used medication from single-dose/single-use vials for multiple patients undergoing treatment for pain. According to the CDC, at least 10 patients contracted life-threatening staph or MRSA infections and had to be hospitalized. An additional patient died, and although MRSA was not listed as the cause of death, it could not be ruled out.

"This CDC report underscores the importance of utilizing proper aseptic technique when drawing up and administering parenteral medications in any patient care setting, especially those coming from single-dose vials. Urgent care providers administer many injections daily and should consistently use good practice to prevent infections," said William Gluckman, DO, MBA, FACEP, board president of the Urgent Care College of Physicians.

Clinicians are encouraged to double check their practices against its Injection Safety Recommendations. In addition, CDC offers healthcare providers a toolkit featuring a narrated PowerPoint presentation for use in staff meetings and other educational opportunities.

Registration Reminder!
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The first installment of UCAOA's new two-part webinar series, designed for center owners, is TODAY! There's still a little time left to register before the 1 p.m. Central start, call Carla Jamison, education director, at 877-698-2262 to secure your spot.

Planning for the future and knowing your options is important; plan on attending both live webinars:

    Part 1: Executing Expansion Plans — Legal and Tax Considerations
    Thursday, July 19, at 1 p.m. Central
    Entity structuring, how you will manage and control based on your structure, funding growth and tax considerations.

    Part 2: Exit Strategies
    Thursday, Aug. 23, at 1 p.m. Central
    Pre-transaction considerations, the actual mechanics of the transaction and what happens after the sale.

Both sessions will be presented by Adam Winger J.D., CPA, LL.M. of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. His practice focus and areas of interest include entity structuring and transaction planning with an emphasis on healthcare, urgent care transactions and tax minimization.

Patient Resources

Patient Resources
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The CDC recently posted seasonal safety tips on its website. Help your current (and potential!) patients stay safe and healthy this summer by sharing these resources: Looking for other ways to connect with your patients/community during the summer months? Check out the Quarterly Marketing Calendar & Ideas document at www.ucaoa.org/rhyme. It's just one of many free tools available to you as part of the national industry awareness campaign!

Clinical Consult

Sinusitis Update
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This month's feature from Dr. Sean McNeeley, a UCCOP Founding Board Member, examines the latest diagnosis and treatment trends for sinus infections, in light of the Infectious Disease Society of America's newly published guidelines. This is a particularly important read since several challenges to sinusitis evaluation in the urgent care patient remain unsolved. Click here for the article!


Now Online in JUCM
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One of the must-read articles in the July/August issue of JUCM is the first of a two-part series on federal labor laws that urgent care operators must understand. In the current installment, Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, covers anti-discrimination laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Watch for part 2, on the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the National Labor Relations Act, in September. To read "Five Federal Employment Regulations Urgent Care Operators Need to Know (Part 1)," turn to page 19 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 editor@jucm.com for information on our author guidelines.

Industry News

Guidance on ED use cuts down on nonemergency care
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Health plans and employers often try to discourage patients from making unneeded trips to the emergency department by setting a relatively high co-payment for such visits. But that practice might be unnecessary, according to an analysis by HealthCore, the clinical outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint. Its research found that giving a patient information about what's a true emergency and directions to the nearest ED alternative kept a significant portion of patients out of the emergency department — without the threat of a steep co-pay. More

When public beats private: Community clinics that keep costs down, do better job
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The ability to provide effective healthcare rests in large part on the availability of primary care. As a first stop before emergency rooms and specialists, primary-care providers focus on disease prevention, health maintenance, and education, catching health problems before they become more serious — and more expensive. Though skeptics might regard these and similar outfits warily, new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicates that these facilities provide care on par with, and in some cases superior to, that of private practices. More

An accountable care organization that's actually working
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The healthcare law's accountable care organizations often get compared to unicorns: We know what they are supposed to look like, but have never actually seen one. In practice, ACOs have proved just as elusive as mythical beasts. That's what makes a new Health Affairs paper exciting. Researchers have found something that looks a whole lot like their unicorn: An ACO that is up, running and looks to be delivering the exact results everyone has hoped for. More

Survey: Most office-based docs satisfied with their EHR system
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About 55 percent of office-based physicians responding to a government-sponsored survey said they use some form of electronic health-record system, and by and large, they're a satisfied lot, according to a report on the survey. The overwhelming majority of those who said they use an EHR also indicated that they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their systems. More than 7 in 10 said they were happy enough with their selection that they would purchase the same EHR system again. More

ACOs aim to cut costs, increase quality
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Across the country, doctors, hospitals and insurers are forming new healthcare entities to increase the efficiency and quality of healthcare, and lower the cost of it. Accountable care organizations are gaining ground, even though critics consider them a repackaging of HMOs — some of which have given managed care a bad name. While the idea has many proponents, critics are concerned about the creation of large healthcare groups that could have too much influence over physician decisions. That could backfire and ultimately result in increased healthcare costs. More

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