GoHealth Urgent Care News

Critics question the benefit of walk-in centers

Source: Modern Healthcare

By Caroline Lewis

June 28, 2016

It's not hard to see the appeal of urgent care centers: They're open evenings and weekends, you can walk in without an appointment and, in some neighborhoods in New Y...

Critics question the benefit of walk-in centers

Source: Modern Healthcare

By Caroline Lewis

June 28, 2016

It's not hard to see the appeal of urgent care centers: They're open evenings and weekends, you can walk in without an appointment and, in some neighborhoods in New York City, they're becoming nearly as ubiquitous as Starbucks. While critics say urgent-care patients miss out on the quality of care that comes with a long-term doctor-patient relationship, these walk-in centers have set a new precedent for convenience and customer service that the city's public health system and other providers are trying to replicate.

Atlanta-based urgent care chain GoHealth has 23 urgent care centers in New York, and plans to almost double its presence here by the end of the year. But it isn't trying to compete with primary care doctors, said Todd Latz, the company's chief executive officer.

"We've driven more people back into primary care than we've taken from it," said Latz, during a panel discussion on urgent care at Crain's "Disruption at the Doctor's Office" health care summit Monday. He added that GoHealth's relationship with Long Island-based health system Northwell Health allows it to direct patients to specialists or other types of providers if necessary.

Desk clerks at GoHealth always ask patients if they have primary care doctors, and ask those who don't if they want one, Latz said. Some people do accept GoHealth's offer to help them find a primary care doctor whom they could visit for more continuous care, but he said millennials are generally not interested.

"They generally view health care as episodic in nature," he said.

Urgent care resonates with people who are used to the on-demand nature of other industries, agreed Dr. Michael Goldstein, a Manhattan ophthalmologist and president of the New York County Medical Society. "The same person who decides they need to order shoes online at 12 o'clock at night goes to the urgent care center," he said.

But there are downsides to episodic care that many patients are unaware of, Goldstein argued. Urgent care centers—which are often staffed by physician assistants or other mid-level professionals, rather than medical doctors—won't necessarily be able to catch serious medical problems. They may also be more prone to misdiagnoses and are less equipped to help patients handle chronic conditions like diabetes, said Goldstein.

NYC Health + Hospitals, the city's public hospital system, is working to adopt the ease of access and customer service offered by urgent care at its outpatient centers, said Steven Bussey, chief of ambulatory care at H+H. That means extending hours and rapidly adding new locations.

But Bussey emphasized that the health system's main objective is to improve patient health over the long term—a goal that also has financial motivations. Increasingly, Medicaid and other insurers are devising payment models that reimburse providers based on improvements in the health of their patients.

"If you're not delivering outcomes, you're not going to get paid," said Bussey. He said the key is to coordinate patients' care and educate them about their medical needs.

Dr. Richard Park, chief executive of urgent care chain CityMD, which has more than 50 locations in the metro area, insisted his chain also aims get patients to change their behavior for the better. The way to do that is by generating a high level of trust, he said.

"I'm not talking about just any level of trust," said Park. "You need to create Oprah-like trust."

Asked whether the involvement of private investors in urgent care could present a conflict of interest, Latz and Park said they simply make sure they choose partners whose missions align with their own.

"If you can't deliver the appropriate level of care, engage with patients and create an environment that they want to return to, it won't matter what your original financial investment thesis was—it won't be successful," said Latz.

Working with private investors isn't off the table for the city's public hospital system, said Bussey. He noted that the state has been looking into the role of private investors in health care for many years.

"It's a tough conversation to have," said Bussey. "It depends on the circumstances and how you make it lucrative to the partners on both sides."

"Do urgent care centers have your best interest in mind?" originally appeared in Crain's New York Business.

Why You Should Avoid Taking Ibuprofen When You’re Drinking

Source : SELF

By Amy Marturana

June 22, 2016

Lots of medications come with the warning to avoid alcohol when you’re taking them. Antibiotics are a tough one to accept, especially if you’re not feeling particularly sick f...

Why You Should Avoid Taking Ibuprofen When You’re Drinking

Source : SELF

By Amy Marturana

June 22, 2016

Lots of medications come with the warning to avoid alcohol when you’re taking them. Antibiotics are a tough one to accept, especially if you’re not feeling particularly sick from what ails you. But reading the labels on pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) and learning that severe side effects are more likely when you mix them with booze feels downright torturous—especially when your head is pounding and popping a few pills promises sweet relief.

Read more at : http://www.self.com/wellness/2016/06/why-you-shouldnt-mix-ibuprofen-and-alcohol/

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care Leverages Health IT to Support Transparent, Patient-Centered Care

Source: Healthcare Informatics

By Heather Landi

June 14, 2016

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care has designed its urgent care centers with a focus on using health IT and technology to enhance the patient experience.

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care Leverages Health IT to Support Transparent, Patient-Centered Care

Source: Healthcare Informatics

By Heather Landi

June 14, 2016

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care has designed its urgent care centers with a focus on using health IT and technology to enhance the patient experience.

The consumerization of healthcare is an ongoing trend, and many healthcare industry leaders see a more patient-centric approach to healthcare as the only way for healthcare delivery organizations and providers to keep pace.

Consumers are now empowered by technology to have more access to health information and are taking more of an active role in their care, and are also accustomed to convenience when engaging with other businesses, and are bringing those expectations to healthcare. Case in point, urgent care is now one of the fastest growing segments of the healthcare industry, according to market research firm IBISWorld, as consumers look for faster and more convenient options as an alternative to visiting the emergency room or waiting for an appointment with a primary care physician. The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine (AAUCM) cites an ongoing shortage of primary care and family medicine physicians, the contraction of emergency departments and patients’ greater access to health information as trends that are fueling the growth of urgent care. There are approximately 9,300 stand-alone urgent care centers in the U.S. and 50 to 100 new centers open every year, according to AAUCM.

In response to this demand for convenience and with the idea of bringing care to patients where they are, Great Neck, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, in partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care, designed its network of urgent care centers with a focus on transparency and patient-centered care, with health IT and technology playing a large role.

Northwell Health, formerly North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, began a partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care in November 2014 to operate Northwell Health-GoHealth urgent care centers throughout the New York City area. Through the partnership, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care now operates 23 urgent care centers, with plans to open 15 more by the end of this year.

The facilities feature windows with smart glass technology for greater transparency

Robert Korn, M.D., medical director for the Northwell Health-GoHealth urgent care centers, says the health system’s expansion into urgent care services helps to further the continuity of care for health system patients. The urgent care centers feature an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) system enabling updated patient medical records to be accessed and shared by providers across the system, including Northwell Health’s 21 hospitals and more than 450 patient facilities and private practices. And, as the center’s have x-ray and laboratory services, any x-rays or diagnostic images taken at the urgent care centers are integrated into the health system’s picture archiving and communications (PACs) system, Korn says.

“Urgent care is a place where patients are going for convenience and that includes people who have gone to Northwell for many years. And, if those patients visit an urgent care center that’s in the Northwell system, then we can wrap that patient back if they need more advanced care to our own physicians and hospitals,” Korn says.

In the exams rooms, physicians and clinicians use surface laptops to connect to the eClinicalWorks EMR system, and the patient record is presented on a large screen, enabling patients to view their patient record along with the physician. Korn, who served as the longtime head of emergency medicine at Northwell’s Southside Hospital, considers this detail—letting the patient see the patient record on a large screen—as a big step forward in enhancing the provider-patient relationship.

 “The medical record is not a device to separate me from the patients, it’s a device to integrate the patients into their care,” Korn says. “So with a typical EMR, when a patient goes to the doctor, they have a two-way interaction and then the doctor turns away to work on the computer. The patient spends 10 minutes watching the doctor work. At the same time, the doctor didn’t get the benefit of the patients’ knowledge of their health information while they were working. It’s possible that the doctor writes something down that the patient didn’t say or forgot to write something that the patient said.

He continues, “What we’ve done here is, we have turned that on its head. As I’m talking to the patient, I’m documenting and recording what they are saying, and the patient is watching me and the screen, so it’s a shared experience. It changes the doctor-patient experience to a more egalitarian experience. The patient feels involved. And it’s more transparent as the patient can catch any mistakes.”

“Also, he adds, “I’ve just cut the time it takes to document the patient’s care in half because, instead of speaking to the patient then turn turning away and documenting what they’ve said, I’m using a template and recording what the patient says as we go along and all my time is with the patient.”

Korn says he also uses the medical record and the screen as a teaching tool for the patients’ discharge instructions. “Typically, when a patient goes to the ER, we hand them several sheets of paper with instructions. Here, we can use pictures within the EMR to explain it to the patient. For instance, I can show a picture of the anatomy of the inner ear up on the screen when talking to a patient complaining of ear pain,” he says.

The urgent care centers were specifically designed to bring the best of retail and hospitality into healthcare, Northwell Health officials say. One innovative feature is the use of smart glass technology windows to enable transparency into the exam rooms. When there is a need for privacy, the windows can be dimmed or changed to opaque. “This enables a feeling of openness so the patient can see the facility end-to-end and can see into the exam room so they get a notion of the level of acuity we can do and the care we are able to provide,” says Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care.

Korn says the openness of the urgent care center design fosters a sense of transparency not typically found in most hospital emergency rooms.

“When you go to an ER what do you see? A window that slides back and someone gives you something to fill out and then you’re left there until they call you back, “he says “Here, our relationship with the patient stars when the patient walks in the door, and even if I’m sitting at my desk, if I raise my eyes, I make eye contact with the patient. So the relationship with the patient is continuous, they walk in and see me working and that works for me, because if the patient sees that I’m very busy, they might be more tolerant about a short wait.”

“We use [smart glass technology windows] across a number of our emergency departments as well to provide that transparent experience,” Adam Boll, vice president of strategic ventures and ambulatory services at Northwell Health, says.

As most of the urgent care centers are located in the five boroughs of New York City, where space is at a premium, the facilities are designed to maximize clinical space and minimize hallways with sliding doors and mobile x-ray equipment.

The urgent care centers also were designed with a focus on a technology-enabled process for patients, with mobile appointment check-ins, the ability to check wait times online and integration with Uber in order for patients to have transportation to or from the centers.

Boll says the partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care is part of the health system’s larger push into leveraging joint ventures with healthcare services and healthcare technology vendors to “bring care into the communities where patients live and work.”

“As a health system, we have put a heavy focus on getting care to people where they live and work, and it’s the same across our other business lines. With our ambulatory surgery centers, the idea is to move surgery that is not appropriate anymore for a hospital setting closer to where patients spend most of their time. And, it’s the same thing with our partnership to operate outpatient dialysis centers throughout the community to make it easier for patients so they don’t to travel to the dialysis centers that are attached to our facilities or our other acute care centers,” Boll says.

Urgent news: New health hub opens on Eighth St.

Source: The Villager

June 9, 2016

Even though hospitals are closing and downsizing left and right, the central Village area just got healthier. On May 20, Northwell Health-GoHealth opened an urgent-care center at 41 E. Eighth St.

The new heal...

Urgent news: New health hub opens on Eighth St.

Source: The Villager

June 9, 2016

Even though hospitals are closing and downsizing left and right, the central Village area just got healthier. On May 20, Northwell Health-GoHealth opened an urgent-care center at 41 E. Eighth St.

The new health hub’s services include treatment for cold, flu and fever; asthma, allergies and emphysema; minor skin lacerations, cuts and burns; urinary tract infections; and sports injuries, sprains and strains; plus X-rays for joints and bone injuries; and lab services for blood tests, urinalysis and cultures.

“Many New York residents have already come to trust Northwell Health-GoHealth for their urgent-care needs and we are very pleased to open new centers in Manhattan that will provide even greater access to our effortless experience and culture of care,” said Todd Latz, C.E.O. of GoHealth Urgent Care.

“We look forward to serving the Greenwich Village community with a contemporary, state-of-the-art urgent-care center that puts patients first. From easy online check-ins and walk-in availability to highly skilled, caring providers, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care is here to help people feel better and stay healthy.”

Spanning from Long Island and Queens to Westchester, Staten Island and Manhattan, the Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care network included 23 centers by the end of last month, with plans to open 15 more by the end of this year. The centers combine GoHealth Urgent Care’s award-winning facility design with Northwell Health’s top-quality healthcare services.

All of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care’s centers operate seven days a week, with extended evening hours, and welcome walk-in patients, with the opportunity to “save your spot” by checking in online.

Each center features X-ray equipment and a lab, combined with an integrated electronic medical record system that can be accessed by caregivers across Northwell Health.

For more information, visit www.gohealthuc.com/northwell.

Radon: What is it and what are the risks?

Source: KOIN

By Cole Miller

June 3, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Public Schools announced Wednesday night that high levels of radon were found in 6 schools. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps...

Radon: What is it and what are the risks?

Source: KOIN

By Cole Miller

June 3, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Public Schools announced Wednesday night that high levels of radon were found in 6 schools. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps up from the ground and can affect indoor air quality. Radon is everywhere and depending on where you live, you could be at a higher risk for exposure. Portland State geologist Dr. Scott Burns says the concern is legitimate. “We do not want to have our kids and the staff at the schools working in environments that the values are high,” Burns said. The gas is invisible and odorless — the only way to know it’s there is to test for it. “So we’re all exposed to it all the time,” said Narda Sherman, a physician’s assistant at Legacy GoHealth. “The question is to how much were exposed.” North Portland tends to have higher levels of radon due to the geological makeup there. Sherman says radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer after smoking. “We do know that there’s an association to breathing in radon and developing lung cancer,” Sherman said. Burns says everyone should test their house. “It’s so cheap,” he said. “Maybe every 5 years it would be good to go in and retest.” Plans are in the works now for Portland schools to bring radon levels down, but Sherman wants parents to keep in mind kids don’t spend all their time at school. “I think at this point, we will serve our children better by having our own home tested where they spend most of their time than being too concerned by radon exposure in the schools,” Sherman said.

Scrapbook: New Urgent Care Centers

Source: Our Town Downtown

June 3, 2016

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care opened two new centers, in Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. The company has opened 22 centers since 2014 across New York and has plans to open 15 more by the end...

Scrapbook: New Urgent Care Centers

Source: Our Town Downtown

June 3, 2016

Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care opened two new centers, in Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. The company has opened 22 centers since 2014 across New York and has plans to open 15 more by the end of 2016. To celebrate the arrival of the most recent centers, Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Greenwich Village center at 41 E. 8th St. Pictured is Todd Latz, CEO and founder of GoHealth.

Joint Ventures Between Health Systems and Urgent Care: Achieving the Best of Both Worlds

Source: The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine 

By JUCM

June 2, 2016

Urgent message: As hospitals and health systems develop and grow +their urgent care footprints, many leverage the expertise and experience o...

Joint Ventures Between Health Systems and Urgent Care: Achieving the Best of Both Worlds

Source: The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine 

By JUCM

June 2, 2016

Urgent message: As hospitals and health systems develop and grow +their urgent care footprints, many leverage the expertise and experience of outside partners. Five common affiliation models fit differing strategic objectives and distinct market conditions.

As the number of urgent care centers increases across the United States, so too do the variety of urgent care center models and the ways in which urgent care centers seek to meet the growing demand for urgent care. Gone are the days when simply being more convenient and cheaper than the emergency department (ED) was enough to ensure success. Private equity investment, strategic health-system growth and development, payor vertical integration, and mergers and acquisitions are all fueling growth and evolution of the care-delivery model and increasing consolidation in what is still a highly fragmented market.

Joint Ventures Between Health Systems and Urgent Care: Achieving the Best of Both Worlds

Source: The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine

By Todd Latz, JD

June 1, 2016

Urgent message: As hospitals and health systems develop and grow +their urgent care footprints, many leverage the expertise and experience of outside...

Joint Ventures Between Health Systems and Urgent Care: Achieving the Best of Both Worlds

Source: The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine

By Todd Latz, JD

June 1, 2016

Urgent message: As hospitals and health systems develop and grow +their urgent care footprints, many leverage the expertise and experience of outside partners. Five common affiliation models fit differing strategic objectives and distinct market conditions.

As the number of urgent care centers increases across the United States, so too do the variety of urgent care center models and the ways in which urgent care centers seek to meet the growing demand for urgent care. Gone are the days when simply being more convenient and cheaper than the emergency department (ED) was enough to ensure success. Private equity investment, strategic health-system growth and development, payor vertical integration, and mergers and acquisitions are all fueling growth and evolution of the care-delivery model and increasing consolidation in what is still a highly fragmented market.

Read more at http://www.jucm.com/joint-ventures-health-systems-urgent-care-achieving-best-worlds/

6 of the Most Common Childhood Outbreaks

Source: Health Moms Magazine

By Dr. Jill Swartz

June 1, 2016

When we send our kids to day care, preschool, or elementary school, it sometimes feels like we’re exposing them to a world of germs and common schoolyard sickness...

6 of the Most Common Childhood Outbreaks

Source: Health Moms Magazine

By Dr. Jill Swartz

June 1, 2016

When we send our kids to day care, preschool, or elementary school, it sometimes feels like we’re exposing them to a world of germs and common schoolyard sicknesses. Children of these ages are more susceptible to outbreaks due to the close contact they have with their classmates. To help parents keep their kids healthy, here is a rundown of the most common outbreaks among children, and how treat them:

6 of the Most Common Childhood Outbreaks

1. Common Cold: results in nasal congestion, sore throat, and cough. Kids are most contagious for the first two to three days, however can infect others from a week prior to symptoms until symptoms are cleared. This is why it is important to keep them home from school allowing them to rest, eat healthy and take over the counter medicine for a quick recovery. Sending a child to school with a cold will make them more susceptible to secondary infections like strep throat or pneumonia.

2. Strep Pharyngitis: causes sore throat and fever. Sore throats are a leading cause of pediatric ambulatory care visits. Swift treatment is particularly important for children two years or older, as leaving a sore throat untreated could lead to rheumatic fever. After 24 hours on antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, strep is no longer contagious.

3. Pink Eye: marked by redness, itching, inflammation, yellow or white discharge and inflammation of the eyelids. Pink eye is spread by a child touching their own eye and then touching the eye of another child, or by touching the infection in one’s own nose/sinus. Usually contagious until the tearing, discharge and matting of the eyes dissipates. This uncomfortable condition can be treated by taking a warm cloth to the eye several times a day and will need an antibiotic if your doctor deems necessary, however most cases of conjunctivitis are viral and don’t require an antibiotic.

4. Head Lice: results in a tickling feeling, itching, and sores on the head due to tiny parasites in human hair. Avoid by not sharing combs, hats, hair clips, and making sure mats aren’t too close during naptime at your child’s school or day care. Treat lice with a prescription or over the counter hair shampoo, make sure to disinfect brushes by soaking them in hot water, and clean all items that your child has been in contact with during the 48 hours before treatment.

5. Chickenpox: caused by a virus and results in an itchy rash with fluid-filled blisters that eventually scab over. Children are no longer contagious after all lesions have scabbed over. The virus spreads easily from kids with chickenpox to others who have never had the disease or those who haven’t been vaccinated. Use over the counter topical medications for the itch, such as calamine lotion and wear cool clothing. Try to prevent your child from scratching or picking at scabs.

6. Stomach virus: results in abdominal cramping, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The stomach virus spreads when a child who is ill doesn’t wash their hands well after wiping themselves after going to the bathroom, or if they have contact with their own vomit and the germs come in contact with communal surfaces, or if these same germs get into shared food. The virus can be present for weeks; so keep kids home from school, hydrate with water and Pedialyte and avoid Gatorade or drinks with a lot of sugar. When your child is able to tolerate solid foods, use the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. If your child appears dehydrated or lethargic, isn’t eating/drinking or urination is limited, go to the emergency room immediately.

Being well informed and following these treatment suggestions may help your children recover quickly, and get right back to running around the playground!

By Dr. Jill Swartz for the Healthy Moms Magazine

Dr. Jill Swartz is a physician at GoHealth Urgent Care in New York. Dr. Swartz received her Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis MO and then attended Tufts School of Medicine in Boston where she completed her residency at Tufts Family Medicine. Dr. Swartz has experience in urgent care, primary care, and student health and she loves working at GoHealth Urgent Care due to the diversity of patients and issues seen in an urgent care setting. Like GoHealth Urgent Care on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoHealthUrgentCare.

Confluence of Executives

Source: WestView News

Photo by Maggie Berkvist

June 1, 2016

CONFLUENCE OF EXECUTIVES: Newly opened, the twenty-foot-wide, storefront urgent care center at 8th Street near 5th Avenue is an odd consortium between Northwell He...

Confluence of Executives

Source: WestView News

Photo by Maggie Berkvist

June 1, 2016

CONFLUENCE OF EXECUTIVES: Newly opened, the twenty-foot-wide, storefront urgent care center at 8th Street near 5th Avenue is an odd consortium between Northwell Health and GoHealth Urgent Care. The new doc-in-a-box facility will offer a lower-cost alternative to Northwell Health’s emergency room, which DNA Info reports, quoting Community Board 2 Social Services committee chair Sasha Greene, “is charging enormous amounts of money for some simple little procedures.” Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

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