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Author: UCA Admin/Tuesday, February 25, 2020/Categories: Industry News
Real News About Fake Urgent Care Centers; Do Prospective Patients Know the Difference?
Mobile, digital communication platforms and urgent care are a natural fit. Someone who wants to see a healthcare provider today but doesn’t need to go to the emergency room is likely to whip out their cell phone and Google “urgent care near me” or something to that effect, expecting to get multiple, valid options to choose from.
Sometimes, though, what they get is a screen full of misinformation and a healthy dose of frustration. ABC15 Arizona produced a report recently on “urgent care centers” that turned up in Google search results—even though there was no such clinic at the address provided.
For example, when the reporter searched for urgent care centers in Apache Junction, AZ he found one that was supposedly nearby. When he drove to the address provided for Achre Urgent Care, however, he found himself parked in front of a dumpster. An address for another one that turned up in the search results didn’t exist at all. When he called the telephone numbers associated with those fake addresses and urgent care centers, however, he was able to speak or text with a live person. That person, presumably a healthcare professional, took his personal and insurance information and asked about symptoms he was experiencing. He described some that could be associated with a sinus infection—and was offered prescriptions for azithromycin and prednisone, which came with a $196 “diagnosis fee.”
These deceptive, unethical, and in some instances illegal practices are not limited to Arizona, of course. It may be worth your while to assign a staff member to check out Google results in your area. If they find situations similar to those detailed in the ABC15 report, complain to Google.
And in the meantime, make sure your own results are on point so patients can find you. JUCM published an article on the right way to embrace a digital presence - Competing For Patients in a Digitally Connected World.
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