Alan Ayers Articles and Resources in Urgent Care

Biographical Links: LinkedIn

Email:  ayersa@sbcglobal.net

Biographical Sketch:

Alan Ayers is Vice President of Corporate and Market Development for Concentra Urgent Care (a subsidiary of Humana, Inc.) where he reports to the CEO and leads initiatives focused on growing top-line revenue of clinic-based urgent care, occupational health, primary care and medical specialist services treating nearly 30,000 patients per day.  Areas of responsibility have spanned product development, product management, and strategic analysis with responsibility for provider, operations, and marketing integration occupational health and urgent care services; market planning, capital budgeting and real estate site selection; programs focused on measuring and improving the patient experience; targeted marketing campaigns and grassroots promotions; channel alignment and optimization of the field sales force; and development and implementation of annual operating plans affecting over 300 freestanding medical facilities in 40 states. 
 
Ayers has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA), is Chair of the Communications and Public Relations Committee, and sits on the Education and Membership Committees.  As the association's Practice Management Content Advisor, he is viewed as an industry thought leader who keeps UCAOA connected to its member base by providing expertise and guidance on emerging issues; identifying market and regulatory trends; defining content, planning educational programs, and speaking at industry events. A prolific and award-winning writer, Ayers contributes a bi-weekly column for UCAOA's Urgent Care Access newsletter, and he is Associate Editor and Practice Management columnist for The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine (JUCM).
 

In 2014, Ayers was recognized by the McGuireWoods law firm as one of the nation's 15 Urgent Care Thought Leaders.

 
Ayers has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of a hospital-affiliated urgent care network, and has extensive experience in the retail consulting industry serving clients like Walmart, McDonalds, Bank of America, Hilton Hotels and Verizon Wireless.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina, has an MBA from the University of Mississippi, and a Masters of Accounting from The Ohio State University where he graduated first in his class.

 

Ayers has recently served on the Board of Directors of the Texas/New Mexico affiliate of Volunteers of America, a 120-year old social services charity.  He is also an FAA-licensed commercial pilot and he resides in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.

Books:

Co-author and editor: Blackwell, Williams, Ayers, Consumer Driven Health Care, Atlas Books, 2005.

Contributor and editor, Consumer Behavior (10th Edition), Thomson South-Western, 2005.

Co-author and editor, Consumer Behavior 10th Edition Instructors Manual, Thomson South-Western, 2006.

Peer Reviewed Journals:

Fundamentals of Urgent Care Billing, Urgent Care Journal, October, 2006.

Fair Pricing for Self Pay Patients, Urgent Care Journal, December, 2006.

Ways to Improve Cash Flow, Urgent Care Journal, January/February, 2007.

Urgent Care Update: Conference Recap, Urgent Care Journal, June, 2007.

Boosting Revenue by Working Harder—or Smarter?, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, February, 2008.

Playing to Win: Maximizing Profits in Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, April, 2008.

Minding Your (Urgent Care) Ps and Qs, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, June, 2008.

Managing Wait Times for Greater Customer Satisfaction, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, September, 2008.

The Front Office: Window to Your Practice, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, November, 2008.

Making a Case for Hospital Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January, 2009.

Getting the Word Out: An Introduction to Urgent Care Advertising, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, March, 2009.

Putting Patients First: Redefining Quality in the Patient Experience, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, May, 2009.

Creating a Web Presence to Raise Awareness of Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, July/August, 2009.

Utilizing Social Media to Drive Visits to Your Website and Urgent Care Center, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, October, 2009.

Building Urgent Care Referral Relationships: Pharmacies and Retail Host Clinics, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January, 2010.

Building Urgent Care Referral Relationships Part 2: EDs, PCPs and Specialists, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, February, 2010.

Protecting the Urgent Care Center from Sexual Harassment Claims, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, April, 2010.

This article won a 2011 Gold Award for “Best How to Article” from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE).

--ASHPE Announcement

--Concentra Press Release

--JUCM Editor-in-Chief Letter

Agencies Can Extend Clinical Recruiting and Staffing Capabilities, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, July/August, 2010.

Getting Paid: Ten Steps to Reducing Accounts Receivable, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January, 2011 (Web Exclusive).

Competitive Analysis to Stand Above the Crowd, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, April, 2011.

Enhancing Profits With Immigration Physicals, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, May, 2011.

Take Patient Satisfaction to the Next Level, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, October, 2011.

Motivate Your Front-line Staff with Enlightened Leadership, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January, 2012.

Workplace Bullying and its Cost to the Urgent Care Operation, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, March, 2012.

Workplace Gossip in Urgent Care: The Impact of Toxic Talk, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, June, 2012.

Five Federal Regulations Urgent Care Operators Need to Know (Part One), Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, July/August, 2012.

Five Federal Regulations Urgent Care Operators Need to Know (Part Two), Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, September, 2012.

Wear Your Brand: Increasing Awareness of Your Urgent Care Center,  Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, November, 2012.

Making the Most of Locum Tenens in Your Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, December, 2012.

Understanding the Occupational Medicine Landscape, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, January, 2013.

Offering Wi-Fi in the Urgent Care Center, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, February, 2013.

Language Interpretation Services in the Urgent Care Center, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, March, 2013.

Dealing with Employee Termination: Smart Strategies for Optimizing Your Team,  Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, April, 2013.

Establishing Your Online Presence: Website Basics for Urgent Care Operators, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, May, 2013.

Protecting Your Center Against Robbery, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, July, 2013 (Web Exclusive).

Blended Clinics: More Than Just a Passing Fancy, National Association of Occupational Health Professionals Visions, Fall 2013, Volume 24.

Achieving Consistency and Scalability in Urgent Care Operations, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, October, 2013.

Post-Visit Follow-up Calls: Improving Patient Satisfaction, Center Profitability and Clinical Outcomes, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, November, 2013.

Improving Urgent Care Profitability Through Medical Supply Management and Accounting, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, December, 2013.

Understanding the Freestanding Emergency Department Phenomenon, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, February, 2014.

Expert Perspectives on Grassroots Marketing in Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, March, 2014.

Marketing Strategies: School, Sports and Camp Physicals, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, April, 2014.

An Urgent Care Operator's Guide to Hiring and Managing a Lawyer, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, June, 2014.

Telemedicine's Impact on Urgent Care: What You Need to Know, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, July, 2014.

Pros and Cons of Sale-Leaseback Financing for Urgent Care, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, August, 2014 (Web Exclusive).

Urgent Care Association of America / Urgent Care Access Newsletter:

2009:

August, 2009: Urgent Care: How to Thrive in Tough Times

September, 2009:  Ten Ways to Reduce Your Urgent Care Center's Accounts Receivable

October, 2009:   Ten Activities to Safeguard Patient Privacy in Urgent Care

November, 2009:   Ten Activities for Managing People in Urgent Care

December, 2009:   Ten Activities for Marketing Your Urgent Care Center

2010:

January, 2010:   Ten Financial Controls to Protect Your Urgent Care Practice

February, 2010:   Five Activities for Improving Patient Satisfaction

March, 2010:   Ten Urgent Care Innovations

April, 2010:   Considerations for Pharmaceutical Dispensing in Urgent Care

May, 2010:   Ten Basic Office Technologies for Every Urgent Care

June, 2010:  Exceptional Patient Experience Pledge

July, 2010: Five Activities for Cultivating a Motivated Center Team                              

August, 2010:   Attacking the De-motivators: Five Behaviors to Avoid in Managing Urgent Care Staff

September, 2010:  Know Thyself by Knowing Thy Competition (Urgent Care Competitor Evaluation Grid)

October, 2010:  It's the Little Details that Matter: Clean Restrooms

October Extra:  Restroom Checklist

November, 2010:   Posted vs. Actual Operating Hours

December, 2010: Ten Cash Management Tools for Urgent Care

2011:

January, 2011:  Neuromarketing Applied to the Urgent Care Center

February, 2011:  Enhance Operating Margin with Immigration Physicals

February Extra:  Immigration Medicine Forms;  Immigration Medicine Fee Schedule

March, 2011:  Make Yours a Powerful Brand

April, 2011:  Lean Thinking in Urgent Care: Patients’ Perspective of Value

May, 2011:  Pediatric After Hours Phenomenon

June, 2011: Managing Impressions of The Brand Called "You"

July, 2011:  Riches in the Niches: Target Demographics for Urgent Care

August, 2011: Act Rather Than Be Acted Upon: Five Ideals for Managing Change

September, 2011: Improving Culture by Reducing the Ambiguity of Work

October, 2011: Ten Ideas for Getting Your Website Noticed

November, 2011: Performance Metrics for Urgent Care

December, 2011: Creating Affinity with Front Line Staff

2012:

January, 2012:  No! No! No! Financing for Urgent Care

February, 2012: Emerging Business Models: Freestanding Emergency Rooms

March, 2012:  Management Implications of Tattoos, Piercings, and Other "Body Art"

April, 2012: Protecting Patients and Assets: Pre-Employment Background Checks and Drug Screening

May, 2012: What Urgent Care Operators Need to Know About Employee Breakrooms

June, 2012: Mitigating the Risks of Business Email

July, 2012: Engaging Providers in the Patient Experience

August, 2012: You Get What You Measure: Patient Experience Indicators for Urgent Care

September, 2012:  Cures for High Utility Costs: 10 Energy Saving Tips for Urgent Care Centers

October, 2012: What Urgent Care Operators Need to Know About Office Parties

October, 2012 Supplement: Considerations for Urgent Care Holiday Hours

November, 2012:  Marketing Your Urgent Care Center to New Movers

November, 2012 Supplement: Protecting the Urgent Care Center Against Drug-Related Robbery

December, 2012: A New Year's Resolution: Reach Out to Primary Care Providers

2013:

January 10, 2013: About Those 'Cheap' Employees

February 14, 2013: Looking for a Few Good People? Hold a Jobs Fair!

February 21, 2013: Tobacco Interventions for Urgent Care Patients
March 14, 2013: You Need a Prize Wheel: Effective Participation in Community Events

March 21, 2013: Medical Marijuana: An Urgent Care Issue?

April 11, 2013: Nepotism in the Urgent Care Center

May 9, 2013: Retail Sales Offices: The Future of Health Insurance?

May 16, 2013: Driving Urgent Care Traffic with Municipal Directional Signage

May 23, 2013: Developing an Emergency Preparedness Plan

June 13, 2013: Mastering the Art of Delegation

July 4, 2013: Bartering Basics for the Urgent Care Operator

July 11, 2013: Six Pathways to Urgent Care Growth

August 8, 2013: Freestanding Emergency Departments Gain Traction

September 12, 2013: Protecting Your Urgent Care Center Against Robbery

October 10, 2013: Eight Principles for Improving Your Urgent Care Operation

November, 15, 2013: Business Case for Providing a Company Car; Marketing Value of Wrapped Vehicles

December 12, 2013: Facility Design: Private Physician Offices, or Not?

2014:

January 23, 2014: The Importance of Having a Solid Job Description for Every Position in the Urgent Care Center

February 20, 2014:  Understanding the Economics of Urgent Care Lab and X-Ray Services

March 27, 2014: Emerging Business Models: Telemedicine

April 17, 2014: Loyalty's No Mystery: Urgent Care Patients Signal Their Intentions

May 8, 2014: Base Decisions on What Patients Want and Expect

June 19, 2014: The Importance of Monitoring Online Patient Comments

July 10, 2014:  Service Quality in Urgent Care: Key to a Successful Center

August 21, 2014: How Wait Times Could Kill the Urgent Care

September 18, 2014: Invest Personally and Professionally in Your Organization

Articles in Other Publications:

The Scoop on Walmart's Newest Clinic Model, Urgent Care News, August 12, 2014.

Published Editorials:

Ayers, Alan: Make Shift from Emergency Care, USA Today (Opinion Page), December 9, 2008.

Ayers, Alan: An Alternative to the ER, The Costco Connection, January, 2012.

White Papers:

The Surge in Urgent Care Centers: Emergency Room Alternative or Costly Convenience? (Editor), Center for Studying Health Care Change Research Brief, July, 2013.

2019 and Beyond: Perspectives of 15 Urgent Care Leaders, McGuireWoods Law Firm and Urgent Care Association of America, March, 2014.

UCAOA UConnect Blog Entries:

Concentra.com: October 30, 2008: Listening to Our Customers: A Roadmap to Success

Concentra.com: May 6, 2009: Concentra Sponsors Urgent Care Medical Curriculum

Concentra.com: July 13, 2009: New Products Undermine Workplace Efforts to End Tobacco Use

July, 2010: The Cornerstone of Urgent Care Marketing is Capturing Word of Mouth

September, 2010:  Five Ways to Deal With Angry Patients

December, 2010:  Trust: Essential for Managing People

July, 2011: Happy Employees Create Loyal Patients and Sustainable Profits

November, 2011: The Best Season to Open an Urgent Care Center (Mitigating the Risks of a January Grand Opening)

February, 2012: The One Reason Start-up Urgent Care Centers Fail

June, 2012: I've Been Robbed! The Injustice of Bad Customer Service

August, 2012:  Greet Every Direct Report, Every Morning

September, 2012: Treat Employees With Respect

November, 2012: Engaging Payers in Raising Urgent Care Awareness

January, 2013: Miss the Mess: Sexual Harassment, Toxic Gossip, Workplace Bullying

April 25, 2013:  How Many Medical Complaints During an Urgent Care Visit?

June 27, 2013: You Got Me Well, So What?

July 25, 2013: Manager-Employee Confidences: A Bad Idea

August 1, 2013: Profitable Growth is the Goal

September 5, 2013: What Business Are You In? Spurring Word of Mouth and Repeat Visits

October 3, 2013: Dissecting the Cost of a Freestanding Emergency Department Visit

November 7, 2013: The Truth About Emergency Room Utilization

December 5, 2013: Urgent Care: Where "Health Care" Embraces "Profit"

January 9, 2014:  Waiting Room Refreshment Station: Improving the Patient Experience

February 6, 2014:  A Simple Solution for Urgent Care Billing Woes

March, 13, 2014: Measuring and Cultivating Patient Loyalty

April 3, 2014: Walgreens Investigation: A Reminder for Patient Privacy

April 3, 2014: Emotional Labor: The Overlooked Human Toll of Urgent Care Service

May 1, 2014: Urgent Care Profitability Starts with Employee Engagement

June 5, 2014:  Culture Fills in the Gaps

July 24, 2014: Time: Your Patient's Most Valuable Resource

August 7, 2014: Why Do Some Billing Departments Put Off Posting?

September 11, 2014: Working to the Vision, Not the Job

October 15, 2014: Thinking Outside the Box: What Urgent Care Can Learn from "ZoomCare"   

Press Citations:

Ohio Company Entering Local Urgent Care Market, Orlando Business Journal, May 18, 2007.

The Devil’s In the Details: Environment of Care Issues, Immediate Care Business, January 14, 2008.

Concentra to Add Urgent Care at New Mexico Locations, New Mexico Business Weekly, February 22, 2008.

Occupational Medicine: Working Towards Greater Patient Satisfaction, Immediate Care Business, March 7, 2008.

Real Concerns Over Fake Patients, Newark, New Jersey: Star Ledger, June 25, 2008.

Urgent Care Centers Seeing Explosion in Growth, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,  June 29, 2008.

Adding Ancillary Services to Your Facility, Immediate Care Business, September 23, 2008.

Instant Gratification, Anyone?, Crain’s Chicago Business, October 13, 2008.

Shopping List: Paper Towels, Diapers, EMR, Milk: American Medical News, March 23, 2009.

Urgent Care Start Up 101, Immediate Care Business, May 20, 2009.

Aetna Opposes Investor-Owned ERs as $1,500 Fees Charged, Bloomberg News, April 1, 2013.

Rise of Freestanding ERs Irks Doctors and Insurers, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 11, 2013.

Freestanding Emergency Department Growth Creates Backlash, American Medical News, April 29, 2013.

"Doc-in-a-Box"  Centers on Rise for Urgent Care, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 2013.

How to Avoid Urgent Care Sticker Shock, Retuers Money, June 11, 2013.

Hurt? You Might Head to the Corner ER, USA Today, July 15, 2013.
There's No 'Urgent' in an Urgent Care,
Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2013.
More Urgent Care Centers Coming to Arkansas, Arkansas Business, July 22, 2013.
Jury Still Out on Urgent Care Savings,
American Medical News, July 26, 2013.
License to Bill, Houstonia Magazine, August, 2013.
Freestanding Emergency Emergency Rooms in Houston,
Houston Matters 88.7 KUHF Radio, August 8, 2013.
Patients Can Pay a High Price for ER Convenience, National Public Radio, August 13, 2013.

Urgent Care Centers Likely to See More Traffic Under Obamacare, Omaha World-Herald, October 6, 2013.

2014 Health Care Hiring: Meeting Consumer Expectations, Monster.com, December, 2013.

Between an ER and Urgent Care: Urgency Centers, Xerox Healthbiz Decoded, December 16, 2013.

A Quicker Trip to the Doctor For Minor Ailments,The New York Times, December 19, 2013.

Strong Momentum for Walk-in Medicine, ConvUrgentCare Report, February, 2014.

Making a Healty Investment in Urgent Care, Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate, February 15, 2014.

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room: Making the Right Choice, WFAA ABC Channel 8, Dallas/Ft. Worth, February 19, 2014.

Retail, Urgent Care Clinics Grow Amid Health-Care Changes, Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate, February 22, 2014.

Urgent Care: A Booming Trend in Health Care, NBIZ Magazine, April, 2014.

New Urgent Centers: Models of Health Care Efficeincy, Xerox Real Business, May 12, 2014.

The Integration of Occupational Medicine and Urgent Care, The Ambulatory M&A Advisor, June 6, 2014.

Transition Looms for Thriving Urgent Care Industry, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 16, 2014.

Tenant Improvements -- Sifting Through Scenarios, The Ambulatory M&A Advisor, June 27, 2014.

ER, Urgent Care Vary on Price, Services, Mansfield (Texas) News-Mirror, July 16, 2014.

Urgent Care Centers Are in Demand, Columbus Dispatch, July 20, 2014.

Conference Presentations:

Consumer Driven Health Care, American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, Orlando, April, 2007.

Statistical Profile of Urgent Care in the United States, August, 2007.

Urgent Care Budgeting, Urgent Care Association of America, Chicago, September, 2007.

Urgent Care Budgeting, Urgent Care Association of America, New Orleans, April, 2008.

Handout: Urgent Care Financial Pro Forma

Walk-in Care Day of Discovery, Sebasticook Valley Hospital, Pittsfield, Maine, May, 2008.

Urgent Care Budgeting, Urgent Care Association of America, Memphis, September, 2008.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, April, 2009.

Improving Wait Times in Urgent Care, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, April, 2009.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Dallas, October, 2009.

Optimizing Locations for Your Facilities, Physicians and Services, Buxton Company, Ft. Worth, April, 2010.

Improving Wait Times in Urgent Care, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, May, 2010.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, May, 2010.

Beyond Conventional Marketing, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, May, 2010.

Appealing to Cash Pay Patients, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, May, 2010.

Telemedicine: Insights for the Urgent Care Operator, Urgent Care Association of America Webinar, June, 2010.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Phoenix, October, 2010.

Marketing in Uncertain Times, American Marketing Association/SMU Cox School of Business, Dallas, January, 2011.

Putting Patients First: Transforming Concentra, Transforming Healthcare, The Beryl Institute, Dallas, April, 2011.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Chicago, May, 2011.

Measuring Patient Flow in Urgent Care, Urgent Care Association of America, Chicago, May, 2011.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Dallas, October, 2011.

Retail Analytics in an Enterprise Cloud with Oracle Spatial, Directions Magazine Webinar, October, 2011.

Occupational Medicine Success Factors, Urgent Care Management Monthly Success Summit, Dallas, February, 2012.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, April, 2012.

Dealing With the Dissatisfied Patient, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, April, 2012.

Integrating Occupational Health and Urgent Care Services, National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, Chicago, October, 2012.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, New Orleans, October, 2012.

The Competition--Evaluating, Positioning, and Branding, Urgent Care Association of America, New Orleans, October, 2012.

Market Research--Planning and Measuring a Center's Success, Urgent Care Association of America, New Orleans, October, 2012.

Organizational Strategy and Marketing, Urgent Care Association of America, New Orleans, October, 2012.

Marketing for Urgent Care Start-ups, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, April, 2013.

Creating an Excellent Patient Experience, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, April, 2013.

Good To Great: Taking Your Marketing to the Next Level, Urgent Care Association of America, Orlando, April, 2013.

Sales and Marketing of Blended Clinic Services, National Association of Occupational Health Professionals Webinar, June, 2013.

Adapting to the New Health Care Environment: Achieving Operational Efficiency in Occupational Health and Urgent Care Services, National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, Nashville, October, 2013.

Understanding Your Competition: Evaluating, Positioning and Branding, Urgent Care Association of America, Phoenix, October, 2013.

Urgent Care Site Selection, Urgent Care Association of America, Phoenix, October, 2013.

Over the Top Success: Creating Raving Fans of Your Urgent Care Center, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, March, 2014.

Urgent Care Site Selection, Urgent Care Association of America, Las Vegas, March, 2014.

Urgent Care Site Selection, Urgent Care Association of America, Denver, October, 2014.

Integrating Occupational Medicine and Urgent Care, National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, Philadelphia, October, 2014.

Webpage Copyright © 2006-2014   Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc   Dallas, Texas   All Rights Reserved.

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