The Urgent Care Association of America has begun a certification program designed to define an urgent-care center.
Facilities can apply to become a certified urgent-care center if they meet specific criteria including hours of operation, clinical capabilities, ages of patients treated and provider qualifications. The association said it hopes the certification program will help reduce confusion about which facilities are providing true urgent-care services. In addition, the certification program will work with health insurers and other payers to help them decide which urgent- care centers should be included in plans and to structure payments and reimbursements.
A certified center is not the same as an accredited center, which meets specific safety and quality standards, the association said. Certified centers will receive recognition packages, including materials such as window stickers for centers to advertise their designation.