UCAOA, EDPMA Underscore Importance of Collaboration Between Urgent Care and Emergency Departments

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On-Demand Care Organizations Collaborating to Ensure High-Quality Treatment Throughout Continuum of Care

The Urgent Care Association of America (“UCAOA”) and the Emergency Department Practice Management Association (“EDPMA”) are collaborating to improve care for patients in need of acute medical care. Additionally, UCAOA and EDPMA will work together to support the essential role urgent care centers and emergency departments play in healthcare delivery continuum.

UCAOA and EDPMA recognize that there is overlap in the roles each industry serves in the delivery of on-demand medicine. By serving unscheduled patients needing immediate care, emergency departments (“EDs”) and urgent care centers (“UCCs”) are part of the national healthcare safety net. They also face similar challenges in the regulatory and payer environments, a problem which is exacerbated when accepting out-of-state insurance for patients outside their normal geography.

According to a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges (“AAMC”), there will be a shortage of 12,500 to 31,100 primary care physicians by 2025 and a recent Merritt Hawkins survey of physicians in 15 major metropolitan areas reported that, “Patients are waiting an average of 24 days to schedule an appointment with a doctor." This wait time represents a 30% increase since 2014 and, in many cases, patients are seeking alternative sites of care or delaying care which can lead to more serious illness and other complications.

Since late in 2017, EDs and UCCs have been reporting increased patient volume relative to the recent H2N3 deadly influenza season. The CDC has indicated that the season has finally peaked, but urgent care centers and emergency departments continue to diagnose and treat the afflicted. The surge in patients can be attributed to not only the shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S., but also the lack of effectiveness of this year’s influenza vaccine against the H2N3 virus and the increased danger posed by this strain of the flu.

Urgent Care Centers and Emergency Departments each play a vital role in providing acute medical care for ill and injured patients across the country.

About the Urgent Care Association of America
The Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) is a membership association for urgent care health and management professionals, clinics and those who support the urgent care industry. UCAOA provides educational programs in clinical care and practice management, has a monthly Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and maintains an active online presence and member community for daily exchange of best practices. UCAOA provides leadership, education and resources for the successful practice of urgent care for its members. For more information visit http://www.ucaoa.org.

About the Emergency Department Practice Management Association
The Emergency Department Practice Management Association (EDPMA) is one of the nation’s largest professional physician trade associations focused on the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care in the emergency department. EDPMA’s membership includes emergency medicine physician groups, as well as billing, coding, and other professional support organizations that assist healthcare providers in our nation’s emergency departments. Together, EDPMA’s members deliver (or directly support) health care for about half of the 141 million patients that visit U.S. emergency departments each year. We work collectively and collaboratively to deliver essential healthcare services, often unmet elsewhere, to an underserved patient population who often has nowhere else to turn. For more information visit http://www.edpma.org .

(i) https://www.aamc.org/data

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Mary Velan
L.C. Williams and Associates
+1 (312) 565-3900
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