Take our brief survey on patient ages
UCAOA is conducting a brief survey to obtain feedback on which patient age ranges your urgent care facility treats. Please participate in our brief survey. Results will be published in next week's edition of UCAccess.
Time: Your patients' most valuable resource
In modern society, the one resource that is more valuable than money is time. That's because time is finite – each of us receives the same 24 hours per day and the best we can do is "make the most of it." As Americans face an increasing number of personal time commitments, they are putting a greater premium on products and services that free time for leisure. In this month's Expert Blog, UCAOA Board Member and Content Advisor Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, demonstrates that saving time is the key value proposition of urgent care, while also providing examples of successful centers that have focused their systems, processes and technology on saving consumers' time.
Open Payments (The Sunshine Act) review your data by August 27
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
As part of the Open Payments program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon make data about the financial relationships between drug/device manufacturers and physicians and teaching hospitals available to the public. Open Payments registration for physicians and teaching hospitals in the CMS Enterprise Portal and the Open Payments system is currently open. Although registration is a voluntary process, it is required if physicians or teaching hospitals want to review any of the data reported about them, by the industry, prior to public posting of the data on September 30, 2014. Click here for further information and registration details. Be sure to also visit the UCAOA Health Policy web page for further updates.
Free webinar: Disparities Dialogue: An overview of Coverage to Care
The CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH)
Please join Cara James, PhD, Director of the CMS Office of Minority Health, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 12-1pm (EDT) for an informative webinar on Coverage to Care (C2C). This session is designed to help answer questions that people may have about their new health coverage, to help them make the most of their new benefits, including taking full advantage of primary care and preventive services. It also seeks to give healthcare providers the tools they need to promote patient engagement. Register here.
2014 Fall Conference: early tuition ends today
The 2014 Fall Conference (Oct. 9-11) in Denver delves into the most pressing issues you face as an urgent care professional, delivering impactful and practical content, solutions and tools that you can apply immediately back home in your center. This year's 2 ½-day event has been revamped and expanded to offer NEW comprehensive practice management and clinical content. As a participant, you can customize your schedule by selecting to attend from 44 sessions in 4 tracks. Don't pass up the opportunity to add on the Pre-Conference Course: DOT FMCSA Medical Examiner Training offered on Thursday, Oct. 9, from 8am - 5pm or register to attend the special 2-day Hands-On Clinical Boot Camp held Friday, Oct. 10 and Saturday, Oct. 11. UCAOA is offering an early tuition rate, which saves you $100, but you must act today, July 24th by midnight (Central).
Global healthcare volunteering: What you need to know before you go
Few urgent care providers have exposure to global medicine but opportunities abound for doing volunteer work in health care throughout the world. JUCM's newest web-exclusive article provides a step-by-step plan for realizing your dream of practicing or teaching medicine far from home. It's written by Kenneth V. Iserson, MD, MBA, FACEP, FAAEM, author of a handbook for medical professionals on global volunteerism, who has personally worked or taught on all seven continents. To read “Global Healthcare Volunteering: What You Need to Know Before You Go”—available only online—click here.
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.
High school sports physicals
With the back-to-school season ramping up, kids participating in school sports programs are typically required to submit a parent consent and have a physical exam. Not only can sports physicals generate revenue themselves, but they bring prospective future patients into the center to see the facility, meet the doctor, and become familiar with the center's policies and processes. So in the event that a sports injury, cold/flu, allergies, or other urgent care need occurs – the family knows right where to go. Temporary signage like the one pictured can remind hurried parents they can meet the physical requirement at your urgent care center. Requirements and forms are available from your state high school athletic association or your school district's athletic director.
ER, urgent care vary on price, services
Mansfield, Texas, has experienced growth in the number of urgent care clinics and free-standing emergency rooms. Interviewed for the article, UCAOA Board Member and Content Advisor Alan Ayers explains that Texas is a hotbed for free-standing ERs, because the state offers a vast supply of affluent communities and doesn't require certificate of need. Some insurance companies are encouraging their customers to choose lower-cost options. However, educating consumers on the differences between these neighborhood medical facilities, the level of treatment each is intended to provide and the costs can be challenging.
Charleston, S.C. mayor challenges BlueCross BlueShield on urgent care decision
The Post and Courier
Public opinion is mounting against BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina's decision to drop two large urgent care providers from its network later this year. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley remarked in a letter to the insurer that their decision seems "financially self-serving" and "highly detrimental to your independent customers." BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina confirmed last month that it will remove both Nason Medical Center and Medcare Urgent Care from its network in October to control rising costs. Dr. Radwan Hallaba, who owns Medcare Urgent Care, met with executives from the BlueCross BlueShield last week to better understand the decision but was told that the insurance company doesn't share data with providers.
Urgent care centers are in demand
The Columbus Dispatch
Urgent care is becoming the patient care destination of choice for non-emergent issues due to its convenience and reasonably priced treatment. This demand has fueled the urgent care industry's growth throughout the past decade, but many in the industry are speculating a wave of consolidation across the highly fragmented market. UCAOA Board Member Alan Ayers remarks in the article that most urgent care centers operate somewhat independently, and in the future, they will need to be part of a larger, more integrated system of care. Ayers also mentions that he expects more hospitals to enter the market as private-equity firms cash out and many urgent care companies go public.
CVS partners with 4 major providers for care coordination, record-sharing
Becker's Hospital Review
ProHealth Physicians in Farmington, Conn., Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Palmetto Health in Columbia, S.C., and the Baton Rouge (La.) Clinic will be able to access care management and wellness programs at CVS' MinuteClinics. The partnership will rely on electronic medical records integration to allow CVS clinicians to add clinic visits or medications information to patient records.
Doctors agree: PAs, NPs improve care, productivity
A Jackson Healthcare survey revealed about 75% of doctors who employed advanced practice professionals such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners said doing so helped improve patient care and practice efficiency, while two-thirds reported that PAs and NPs are handling tasks that formerly were handled by doctors. Sixty percent of respondents perceived the increasing role of PAs and NPs positively, researchers said.