Survey results: DOT repeat visits for clearance
When a patient is not cleared on a Department of Transportation (DOT) exam due to medical issues, he/she will often go to a specialist and then return for clearance. Occasionally this will result in multiple re-checks. UCAOA conducted a brief survey to obtain feedback on whether or not your urgent care center charges for these follow up visits. Of those that participated in this survey, 35 percent of centers do charge a follow up fee. Is this fee discounted? Click here to see the full results of the survey.
UCAOA Comments on Proposed Changes to Medicare Quality Programs
On September 2, ASRS submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. It in its letter, UCAOA commented on the barriers to successful participation in Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Program (PQRS) for physicians and other eligible professionals who practice in urgent care centers, including the lack relevant PQRS measures, which would worsen if CMS finalizes its plans to eliminate the claims reporting mechanism for a number of measures. UCAOA also voiced opposition to CMS' proposal to double the maximum downward adjustment a physician or other eligible professional could receive under the physician Value-Based Payment (VBP) Modifier Program. Under CMS' proposal, a physician or other eligible professional who does not successfully participate in PQRS in 2015 would receive a -2 percent payment adjustment in 2017, as well as a VBP modifier of -4 percent. CMS will release the final rule in early November. A summary of PQRS requirements is available for UCAOA members.
Call for volunteers to serve on new education subcommittees
The UCAOA Education Committee is seeking volunteers for two new subcommittees. The Practice Management Program Subcommittee is looking for experts in the disciplines of billing/coding/contracting, marketing, accounting/finance/legal, human resources/training/recruiting, and operations management. If you would be interested in helping to plan the UCAOA annual conferences (Spring and Fall), please complete the volunteer survey to apply. The time commitment would vary throughout the year and most committee meetings would be conducted via phone.
For the 2015 National Urgent Care Convention (Spring) in Chicago, UCAOA is looking for a chair and committee members for a Local Arrangements Committee. This committee would be involved in planning activities in the host city (Chicago), creating an initiative to recruit local members to attend the convention and help plan ancillary activities. The commitment would be from October 2014 through April 30, 2015. The Spring Convention is April 27–30, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wacker. The chair and committee members should all reside in the Chicago area. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete the volunteer survey by Monday, September 8, 2014. Please choose the Education Committee as your first choice. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Conference regular tuition ends 9/11
The UCAOA 2014 Fall Conference to be held October 9-11 in Denver is proving to be an anticipated event for the urgent care community. With more than half of the conference registrations spoken for, the Fall Conference's revamped educational programming and open format have proven to be a huge draw for urgent care clinicians and professionals nationwide. If you have not already secured your seat, act quickly, as regular tuition rates will expire on Thursday, Sept. 11; thereafter, rates increase by $100.
Invest personally and professionally in your organization
What differentiates an "outstanding" from a "mediocre" employee? While factors like dependability, attention to detail, and pleasant demeanor might be the first that come to mind—these are basic traits that should be demonstrated by all members of an urgent care team. Rather, what makes a person outstanding goes to his or her emotional investment in the practice. In this practice management article, Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Content Advisor and Board Member, discusses the traits that invested employees demonstrate and how urgent care center operators and managers can encourage and empower staff to develop these traits. Please note to access this article, members must sign in to ucaoa.org and subscribe to Alan Ayers' Practice Management Blog.
Additional Resources: Look for these two sessions held at the 2014 Fall Conference (Oct. 9-11) in Denver: Friday, Oct. 10, from 10-11am, Getting the Right People: Recruiting, Hiring, and Onboarding Strategies (part of the Comprehensive Clinic Startup Track) and Friday, Oct. 10, from 11:15am-12:15pm, Cultivating and Measuring Employee Engagement (part of the Achieving Operational Excellence in Urgent Care Track).
| CORPORATE SUPPORT PARTNERS
Thank you to our CSPs
A cornerstone for continued growth and advancement of UCAOA is the longtime commitment and unrestricted support of our Corporate Support Partners (CSPs). Each CSP helps strengthen UCAOA activities, programs and events to further urgent care medicine. Please celebrate their support and join us in telling them THANK YOU!
2014 Corporate Support Partners:
New! Diamond Partner: DocuTAP
Platinum Partners: Gebauer Company, Institute of Urgent Care Medicine, McKesson, and Practice Velocity
Gold Partner: Quality Nighthawk
Silver Partners: Allen Mooney Barnes (AMB), Concentra, National UC Realty, and Net Health
Bronze Partners: Blue Ridge X-Ray, The Joint Commission, and Rapid Pathogen Screening (RPS)
Images Challenge Case
The September cover story is the first of a two-part series by Thomas V. Gocke, III, MS, ATC, PA-C, DFAAPA, on joint and soft-tissue injection and aspiration for selected musculoskeletal complaints. That is a form of therapy which is becoming more common in urgent care and for which providers need a solid foundation of knowledge about how to perform the procedures and their associated risks. To read "An Urgent Care Approach to Joint and Soft-Tissue Injection/Aspiration: Part 1," turn to page 8 JUCM 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 email to email@example.com for information on our author guidelines.
Posting wait times
Posting wait times can set patient expectations and enable patients to make an informed decision whether to wait for care, return at a less busy time, or go elsewhere. When posting wait times, a good patient experience is generally one in which the actual wait is shorter than what's posted. A wait time that is significantly longer than what is posted will likely generate complaints. And the over-riding concern of posting any wait time is that patients see it and balk—resulting in lost revenue for the center if wait times are long. So the best solution when posting wait times is to keep them short, keep flow moving, offer patients options like waiting at home, and to frequently communicate updates.
Stand-alone emergency rooms emerge in Central Florida
Orlando is at the forefront of a trend: full-service emergency medicine facilities or free-standing emergency departments (FSEDs). In the past 12 years, 14 FSEDs have opened across Florida, and two more are slated to open later this year in Central Florida. Patients may be tempted to use the FSEDs for non-emergent issues, however, they should be forewarned that they could end up paying a "facility fee" which can run hundreds of dollars per visit and may or may not be paid by insurance plans. UCAOA Board Member and Practice Management Advisor Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, remarks in the article "If somebody goes to one of these free-standing emergency room facilities, and they don't need the caliber of care that is part of that facility, they are paying more than they have to."
CareSpot-HCA Midwest health partnership broadens access to urgent care in Kansas City
CareSpot and HCA Midwest Health opened their eighth urgent care center in the Kansas City area on September 3 in Blue Springs, Mo. The new facility joins seven other area CareSpot locations in Lee's Summit, Overland Park North, Overland Park South, Parkville, Raytown and South Kansas City, which all provide urgent care and occupational health services.
Urgent care emerges as ER alternative
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Login required)
Urgent care is a growing part of the U.S. healthcare system; one that advocates say can play a role in health reform. The concept has grown steadily since the 1980s and it's attracted billions in investment by private equity firms as well as hospitals and health systems. Industry executives say consolidation is inevitable, and market saturation may also be in the future with enough centers opened to serve the population. In this article, UCAOA member Dr. Lee Resnick shares his perspective on urgent care growth in the Atlanta metro area.
Hospitals say they've lost insured patients to urgent care
The Texas Tribune
A recent article published in The Texas Tribune, states that there is an increasing number of urgent care centers opening up throughout Texas, proving to be problematic for hospitals in the state. The article claims that these hospitals are competing with urgent care centers for the same pool of insured Texans, and that unlike hospitals, urgent cares typically do not accept Medicaid.
This urgent care industry myth is unfounded, but until recently was difficult to debunk due to a lack of data; however, the soon-to-be-released UCAOA 2014 Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey Results found that 51% of urgent care centers do accept Medicaid plans. The data contained in the survey results will better position UCAOA to be able to debunk industry myths and allow urgent care as a whole to respond to inaccurate claims. If you're attending to 2014 Fall Conference in Denver (Oct. 9-11), be sure to stop by UCAOA Central in the Centennial Ballroom Foyer at the Hyatt Regency Denver to see a demonstration of the 2014 Benchmarking Survey Results platform.
CMS finalizes EHR meaningful-use rule, adds some flexibility
The CMS finalized a rule allowing hospitals and eligible professionals more flexibility in how they meet meaningful-use requirements for the electronic health-record incentive program. The rule would grant providers a longer timeline and more flexibility in meeting the incentive goals laid out by the stimulus program first created in the 2009 HITECH Act. The rule pushes back the beginning of the third stage of meaningful use for the first cohort of adopters until Jan. 1, 2017, as opposed to the old standard of Jan. 1, 2016. Also, some providers struggling with adoption of 2014 certified EHRs will be granted more flexibility.