UC Access September 13, 2012
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UCAOA Meetings & Education Practice Management JUCM Industry News


2012 Benchmarking Study Update
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Results of the 2012 Urgent Care Benchmarking Study will be available in November! This robust report is chock-full of new, exclusive data about our industry, including:
  • Longitudinal tracking of patient volume (Visits and Staffing section)
  • Use of staff and meaningful use requirements (Quality and Technology section)
  • Detailed salary information for all positions (HR section)
  • Effectiveness ratings for multiple outlets (Marketing section)
Plus ... new methods for reporting revenue, expenses and net profit. Stay tuned; details on how to order your copy are coming soon!

Meetings & Education

Risky Business: Protecting your Center from Coding Compliance Risks
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Mark your calendar for UCAOA's upcoming webinar, held Thursday, Sept. 20 (1-2 p.m. Central). Taught by Betsy Nicoletti, M.S., CPC, the 60-minute webinar will guide you through compliance essentials in these three key areas:
    1) Coding concern for UCCs and how to assess them in your own center
    2) Privacy requirements and the potential need to update policies
    3) Provider enrollment procedures that reflect new laws and penalties

Click here to complete the registration form and reserve your spot!

Practice Management

Cures for High Utility Costs: 10 Energy-Saving Tips for Urgent Care Centers
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In his September article, Alan Ayers, UCAOA's Practice Management Content Advisor, discusses how utility bills are having a significant bottom-line impact on urgent care centers — especially as the cost of electricity continues to rise and weather patterns become increasingly erratic.

Click here to read the article, which includes 10 practical tips to reduce energy consumption without compromising either patient comfort or quality of care.


Now Online in JUCM
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A new urgent care Images Challenge case is now available only on the JUCM website. Review the case of an 80-year-old male who suffered a blow to the left side of his chest and view the image taken. Consider what your diagnosis would be, then check the case resolution to see if you were right. Click here to take the JUCM Images Challenge.

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

Survey: Clinics provide enriched healthcare experience
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When asked about interest in using retail clinics to obtain specific medical services, the care model holds strong appeal for patients across several treatment categories, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Roughly two-thirds of patients indicated being likely to utilize such facilities for flu shots, and roughly half indicated being likely to visit a retail clinic seeking care for a cold or flu-like symptoms, a cut or puncture wound, a rash, cholesterol or blood pressure tests or lab services such as blood sugar testing. More

Pilots look to increase use of prescription drug monitoring databases
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There is widespread agreement in the Health and Human Services Department's Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and other departments in the federal government that prescription drug monitoring databases are an effective tool in combating prescription drug abuse, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called an epidemic. More

Doctor incentive groups may save money, with effort
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According to a new study, a precursor to the accountable care organizations that policymakers are hoping will lower health costs and improve quality did reduce spending in some organizations, but not in others. ACOs and the earlier pilot program, known as the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration, emphasize shared savings for groups of health workers and award bonus payments based on their quality of care. More

Physician fee proposal generates calls for changes
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A proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to set the Medicare physician fee schedule for 2013 drew more than 2,900 comments from a variety of stakeholders. While there was general support for many of the provisions in the 765-page proposed rule, the comments provide insight into the complicated fee structure that providers must contend with in the delivery of healthcare services to Medicare beneficiaries. More

IT critical to new health learning system
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For America to consistently deliver reliable performance and improve patient outcomes, providers must apply computing capabilities and analytical tools that allow clinicians to share real-time insights from routine patient care. In short, the entire U.S. healthcare system must transform itself into a continuous learning machine that drives efficiency and curbs costs, a new study released by the Institute of Medicine concludes. More

Community paramedic ranks begin to grow in Minnesota
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VideoBrief Minnesota could have within several years several hundred practicing "community paramedics," a new designation of healthcare providers spawned by the shortage of doctors and nurses in rural parts of the state. More

Northwestern Memorial expands into Chicago's suburbs
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Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is making a hard push into Chicago's northern suburbs, planting its flag firmly in a market dominated by a pair of established competitors before President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul is implemented. Four of the clinics already are open, including sites in Grayslake, Highland Park, Lake Forest and a combination primary care and urgent care center in Lakeview that recently started accepting patients. More

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