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How to Make a Successful Urgent Care Center - Takeaways From the Two-Part Webinar Series

The Abaris Group conducted a two-part webinar series on the topic of how to manage a successful urgent care center (UCC). Part I of the series, Fundamentals of an Effective Urgent Care Center, was presented on March 25, 2014 while Part II, Taking Your Urgent Care to the Next Level, was presented on April 8, 2014. In case you missed them, here are the key takeaways from the series:

1. Impact on health reform - Because 20 million more people will be insured (7.1 million as of 4/1/14), there will be an increase in the need for primary care access to services. Add this to the primary care physician shortage and you have a recipe for trouble. UCCs can fill the void and provide care for people who fall into this category. 

2. UCCs are a useful "demand management" strategy for over-burdened emergency departments (EDs) - Reports show continued use of the nation's EDs for conditions that could be treated in an urgent care setting. "Of the 116.8 million visits covered by the 2007 Emergency Department Summary, only 16.4% were actually admitted to a hospital or kept for observation." (Urgent Care Association of America)

3. UCCs should have effective service line options in order to have success. The most successful options include:

  • Primary Care
  • Travel Medicine
  • Pediatrics after hours

4. It is critical that for UCCs to be successful, they must ensure financial viability through several mechanisms including:

  • Hospital affiliated clinics
  • Downstream system revenue
  • Increased patient volume
  • Increased collections per patient

5. Most UCCs fail because of the following:

  • Poor planning (i.e., lack of a business plan, strategic marketing)
  • Poor site location
  • Overbuilding - size too large, equipment too elaborate, etc.
  • Staff & overhead more like expensive hospital standard
  • Poor billing and collection - improper coding, lack of staff training or 3rd party professionals
  • Lack of continuation in comprehensive marketing

6. Successful UCCs have the following characteristics:

  • A consistent investment in three main revenue streams: Urgent/Episodic Care, Industrial/Occupational Healthcare, and Primary Care.
  • Participation in more sophisticated marketing strategies that include referrals from doctors and unique partnerships with 3rd party providers.

Did you find these takeaways helpful? Do you have any other takeaways?

If you missed the webinar and are interested in learning more about how to make a UCC successful, you can purchase both webinars here, or contact The Abaris Group for more information at info@abarisgroup.com.

By Mike Williams, MPH/HSA, President - The Abaris Group 

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Comments

Thanks for sharing your views. You’re there to provide excellent advice, going right to the point with simple understanding of your readership. Thank you very much!

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