Open Payments registration system shut down
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled July 14 – Aug. 28 as the dispute resolution phase of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. This 45-day time frame is designed to allow physicians to register in the Open Payments system, review any transfers of value made to them from pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and potentially resolve any inaccuracies found in the database before the information is made public on September 30. However, CMS has temporarily suspended the registration system after at least one doctor had payments attributed to him in the system that went to a different doctor. Click here for more information, and visit the Health Policy section on the UCAOA web site for more information about the Sunshine Act Physician Registration.
Why do some billing departments put off posting?
A month or so ago, a patient sent payment on a medical bill — writing his credit card number on the remittance coupon — and the doctor's billing office still hasn't processed the payment. Now the patient is wondering whether the payment was lost in the mail, whether his credit card information was jeopardized, or whether his account will be unjustly thrust into collections. Thinking about this scenario in the context of managing a medical billing operation, the reason for the delay is most likely infrequent or delayed posting to patient accounts. In this month's practice management feature, Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Practice Management Content Advisor and Board Member, makes a compelling case for daily posting, which can improve customer service, reduce accounts receivable days and improve collections rates, among other benefits.
Additional Resource: The 2014 Fall Conference Comprehensive Clinic Startup Track will feature the session "Getting Paid: Operational Considerations for Billing and Coding," on Friday, Oct. 10, from 2-3 p.m. Learn more now!
| UCAOA ACCREDITATION PROGRAM
Demonstrate your commitment to excellence
Congratulations to MD Now Urgent Care of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Statcare Urgent and Walk-In Medical Care of Hicksville, New York, on achieving UCAOA Accreditation. These centers join a growing list of prestigious organizations who have earned the unique mark of excellence for scope of care, quality and safety — an accreditation offered only by UCAOA. This is the highest level of distinction that a center can demonstrate to patients, payers and the medical community. If your urgent care organization is interested in achieving this unique recognition, click here for more information on the UCAOA Accreditation Program. Be sure to also like UCAOA on Facebook and visit the UCAOA Newly Accredited Centers photo album.
Live webinar: Integration of Family Practice and Urgent Care
Join us on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 1-2 p.m. Central, for the live webinar "Integration of Family Practice and Urgent Care," presented by Heather Rosen, MD, ABFM. This informative session will offer an overview on the patient-centered medical home while detailing how to provide access to health care for patients without primary care providers. Revenue opportunities for both family practice and urgent care centers will also be highlighted as well as how to contain or reduce healthcare expenditures from unnecessary ED visits and hospital stays. Click here for more details and to register.
DOT Training Course offered live at 2014 Fall Conference
All medical examiners who conduct Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examinations for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers must complete training on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) physical qualification standards. UCAOA will hold a DOT FMCSA Medical Examiner Training Course on Thursday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., prior to the start of the 2014 Fall Conference. Through participation in this one-day training course, you will obtain the skills necessary to sit for the test to become eligible as a verified ME listing on the National Registry. If you have not already done so, register today for the DOT Training Course and the 2014 Fall Conference in Denver. Regular tuition rates are in effect until Thursday, Sept. 11.
Pros and Cons of Sale-Leaseback Financing for Urgent Care
Urgent care entrepreneurs typically use personal savings, bank loans, or the equity investment of third parties for working capital but a center's physical plant also can be a source of those funds. A properly executed sale-leaseback — the subject of JUCM's latest Web-exclusive article — can be a viable financing strategy at a lower cost than traditional financing. As described by Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, sale-leaseback, with proper due diligence, can be a win-win that helps clean up the balance sheet and restructure capital investments from non-revenue-generating assets to the core urgent care business. Read more.
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 email to firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our author guidelines.
Direct patients to free parking
The ease and availability of parking is one factor that patients consider when choosing an urgent care facility. If it's time consuming to find a parking space near the center, if there's a long walk from the parking space to the center entrance, or if parking costs money, patients have a high likelihood of choosing a facility that instead has available, close-in, free parking. For urgent care centers in urban areas, in which parking may not be readily available at the facility, an option is to contract with a nearby parking garage and validate patients' tickets for the period of time they are in the center. To assure patients know where to park, use directional signage as illustrated.
If you have an idea that you would like to share, please submit it to email@example.com.
CareWell Urgent Care holding school supply drive
CareWell Urgent Care and WCVB-TV Channel 5 have teamed up with "Cradles to Crayons" to provide much needed school supplies to 30,000 children in need. Donations of new school supplies will be accepted until Sept. 30 at specific CareWell Urgent Care drop-off locations.
Ocean City urgent care physician celebrates 25 years
Dr. Victor Gong of 75th Street Medical in Ocean City, Maryland, celebrates his urgent care practice's 25th year this summer. Dr. Gong and his staff work upwards of 70 hours per week, staying ahead of the curve and treating patients with all manner of rudimentary injuries and symptoms.
Health care on the go
Better Homes and Gardens
The July issue of Better Homes and Gardens featured the article "Health Care On The Go," in which writer, Sara Reistad-Long, details out the differences for consumers between retail health clinic, online consult, urgent care clinic, and emergency room care. Tips are also shared throughout the article such as a visit to a retail health or urgent care clinic can be as much as 80 percent cheaper than going to the ER. Online access to the article requires a subscription, but you may have a copy of the July issue in your waiting area for patients; if so, turn to page 154.
Residents' salary and debt report 2014
Medscape conducted an online survey to obtain information on medical residents' salary, debt, and their overall experiences in residency. More than 1200 residents across 25 specialties took part in the survey and all participants were enrolled in a U.S. medical resident program. Results show that the average resident salary is $55,300 and over a third (36 percent) still owe more than $200,000 after five years in residency. Click here to see the full results of the survey.
Report touches off fight over future of doctor training program
Kaiser Health News
A high-level report recommending sweeping changes in how the government distributes $15 billion annually to subsidize the training of doctors has brought out the sharp scalpels of those who would be most immediately affected. The reaction also raises questions about the sensitive politics involved in redistributing a large pot of money that now goes disproportionately to teaching hospitals in the Northeast U.S. All of the changes recommended would have to be made by Congress.
False hope for new superbug treatments
By Mike Wokasch
The lack of effective treatments for antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" represents a serious global healthcare issue with potentially disastrous consequences. In the hopes of finding new treatments, a number of organizations and governments are struggling to secure and provide sufficient financial and nonfinancial incentives to encourage more research. Unfortunately, the fallacy of some of these initiatives is that more money, more companies and more compounds will not deliver the products we need.
Case study: Primary care practices need help to effectively use HIT
Primary care practices require sustained, focused efforts to effectively incorporate health IT into their work to improve care, according to a case study of practices in the Colorado Beacon Consortium published at eGEMs.