How is health reform impacting your urgent care center?
In addition to a one-day course being offered at this year's Urgent Care Fall Conference, UCAOA is preparing a host of articles, tools and resources to help you prepare for the era of healthcare reform. To better serve your needs, we sent out a survey on Aug. 5 and requested your participation. If you didn’t receive the survey, or if you know of others that would like to "weigh in," please contact Joanne Ray.
All respondents who complete the survey by Aug. 20 will be eligible to receive one free registration for the one-day session, "Reposition Your Urgent Care Center in an Era of Healthcare Reform," presented Friday, Oct. 4 in Glendale, Ariz. Your feedback will help us tailor tools and resources to your needs. Thank you in advance for your participation
NextCare acquires 11 Dallas-Forth Worth PrimaCare locations
As of Aug. 1, NextCare Holdings, Inc. — one of the nation's leading providers of urgent care medicine — acquired 11 PrimaCare Medical Centers locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This brings the number of NextCare-operated clinics nationwide to 86. This is the latest acquisition in a string of expansions for NextCare Holdings, and the company plans to open additional clinics in both new and existing markets in the near future. In just the past 10 months, NextCare has opened or acquired 28 new clinics.
Concussion Education and Treatment: A Promotional Opportunity for Urgent Care by James Nawalaniec
Concussions are taking center stage as a research theme in sports medicine. The National Football League has increasingly placed concussions and their severe long-term health risks in the spotlight over the last decade and the NFL's research and innovative methods to protect players from traumatic brain injury have resonated with coaches and trainers for athletes of all skill levels. Over the past five years, there has been a push among middle and high schools to prevent, recognize and properly treat concussions. For this reason, concussion prevention and treatment provides an opportunity raise awareness of urgent care centers and grow the initial visits and revenue from concussion care into future patient volume.
UCAOA launches new online library site
As a UCAOA member, you have discounted access to a plethora of educational content. To improve your educational experience, UCAOA recently overhauled its Online Education Library. There is something for everyone here — from physicians to nurses to billers and coders to owners and marketing teams. Learn on-demand — on your own time and meet your licensure and continuing education requirements. Keep up with industry trends, clinical approaches, practice management pearls and other knowledge-enhancing sessions.
UCAOA’s Online Education Library offers:
• Urgent care-specific courses in topic areas including:
- Accounting & Finance
- Billing & Coding (Select courses available for AAPC Credit)
- Human Resources
- Legal & Regulatory
- New to Urgent Care
• Continuing education credits (CME, UCMC and AAPC)
• Seamless integration with UConnect, the UCAOA online member community, where you can network and discuss your urgent care challenges and successes with others
Preview all that the new Online Education site has to offer. As a "test drive," UCAOA is giving everyone FREE access to the 2013 General Session "Positioning Urgent Care for Success in the Post-Reform Medical Marketplace" presented by Jeff Bauer. Here is a short clip from the session.
To access the full video for free, visit the UCAOA Online Education Library today!
Freestanding emergency departments gain traction
Freestanding emergency departments are walk-in medical facilities — structurally separate and distinct from a hospital — which hold themselves out to provide emergency care to the general public. While FSEDs claim many similarities to hospital EDs and urgent care centers, there are also significant differences. And when patients utilize these facilities for low-acuity conditions — issues that could otherwise be treated in an urgent care center — patients and insurance companies alike may be surprised when they see their bills. In this industry update, Alan Ayers, UCAOA board member and practice management content advisor, explores the growth of freestanding EDs, dives deep into their operating model and marketing tactics and offers a response for urgent care operators.
Profitable growth is the goal
Urgent care operators are on a quest to grow revenue — adding new locations, hiring additional providers, extending hours and introducing ancillary services — but unless revenue growth translates to bottom-line profit, it does little to sustain the business. This month's expert blog by Alan Ayers, UCAOA board member and practice management content advisor, uses the profit and loss statement to illustrate how investments must make a positive contribution towards fixed costs and generate bottom-line returns more favorable than other options.
Increase potential lab revenue
Is your urgent care center realizing all of its potential lab revenue? Except for CLIA-waived pregnancy, strep, glucose, mono and urine dip performed on site, many urgent care centers send out all labs to third party hospital or reference labs who then bill insurance directly for their services. Even if the urgent care bills the patient/insurance a marginal $10-15 collection fee, the bulk of revenue and margin is lost from the urgent care center. Depending on the payer contract, a better alternative may be for the urgent care to bill insurance for the lab and then reimburse the reference lab.
Now online in JUCM
A new urgent care Images Challenge case is now available only on the JUCM website. Review the case of a 79-year-old woman with pain in her thumb. Examine the X-ray, consider what your diagnosis would be, then check the case resolution to see if you were right. To take the Images Challenge, click here.
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 e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our author guidelines.
License to bill
Freestanding emergency centers are popping all over Texas, and while their services may seem similar to that of urgent care centers, many patients are in for a less-than-pleasant surprise when they receive the bill. "I went in for a sore throat that wouldn’t go away," said Vickie K., speaking of the Elite Care facility in League City, Texas. "Five-and-a half months later, I'm getting a bill for more than $1,500."
Doctors readying for Obamacare's new health insurance benefits
The Huffington Post
Dr. Kisha Davis' patient, who is uninsured, was gearing up to deliver a stream of invective about President Barack Obama's health care reform law. "I don't believe our government is doing this!" Davis recalls her saying. Then Davis, a family physician at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg, Md., broke in. "She was getting ready to go on this rant," said Davis, 34. "Then I said, 'But you're going to get insurance and in six months, all these tests that we're trying to get you, you're going to be able to get.'"
1.35 million youths a year have serious sports injuries
Occasional bumps and bruises are expected when kids play sports, but for more than 1.35 million children last year, a sports-related injury was severe enough to send them to a hospital emergency department. Sprains and strains, fractures, contusions, abrasions and concussions top the list of sports-related ER diagnoses for kids ages 6 to 19.
Walgreens rebrands clinics as Obamacare launches
Walgreen Co. recently said it would rebrand its more than 370 retail clinics as "Healthcare Clinics" in a move that better reflects the drugstore chains shift to a company providing medical care services. Walgreens, which is replacing the current Take Care Clinic name, is moving aggressively into providing healthcare services, announcing earlier this year to the dismay of some doctor groups that it would begin managing chronic care conditions.
A new role for urgent care centers?
Pittsburgh Business Times
The carpetbombing of western Pennsylvania with urgent care centers in recent years raises a bigger issue: are bigger things in store at these clinics? Morgantown, W.Va.-based MedExpress Urgent Care dominates the region with some 35 outlets, including two in the Borough of Monroeville, ground zero in the region's raging health care war between UPMC and health insurer Highmark Inc.
How texts are letting patients skip the waiting room for urgent care visits
There are few worse places to wait in line than in a doctor's office or urgent care clinic, surrounded by coughers, sneezers and nose-blowers. That's why QLess, a tech company that works with service providers to manage their waiting lines virtually, is ramping up its efforts in the healthcare industry. Since the average patient waits about 20 minutes in a doctor's office waiting room, it seems like a likely fit.
Role of pediatric emergency nursing
By Archita Datta Majumdar
Emergency nursing is perhaps the most challenging branch of the profession, and when it comes to pediatric emergency nursing it definitely takes a special breed of professionals to bring about significant change in the lives of the little patients. While they are mostly posted in the ERs of major hospitals, more and more pediatric emergency nurses are now also frequently seen in urgent care centers, ambulances and as part of air medical teams whenever they have serious and urgent child patients to take care of.
A new healthcare vision for New York City's workforce
The Huffington Post
More than 65 years ago, New York City began providing affordable healthcare to its workforce through free clinics for members of the city's health plan. It was an idea ahead of its time — and now is the moment to bring it back.
SSM invests $644,000 to double its urgent care centers
St. Louis Business Journal
SSM Health Care plans to double its urgent care footprint in the St. Louis area, first with the Aug. 12 opening of a Brentwood location in the Schnucks Plaza on Manchester Road, and then with the September opening in St. Charles, Mo., of its fourth urgent care overall.
| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.