Urgent cares see a lot of patients with sexual health concerns. Infection rates are at an all-time high and continue rising according to JUCM: Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. With the recent invention of rapid STD/STI testing, we sat down with Alan Ayers, Experity’s President of Strategic Initiatives, to get his insights on how these tests will impact urgent care. Here are his answers to our questions.
There are a couple of major issues that have been a challenge for urgent cares who provide testing for sexual health concerns.
Yes — Visby Medical CLIA-waived 3-panel PCR testing for sexual health. The test is FDA-cleared for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. No “reader” is required — only a power cable to the self-contained test kit—and results are available in 28 minutes.
Based on what I’m seeing and hearing, there are a few points to make.
Also, I posted about this on my LinkedIn page and received an excellent question: “How do you mitigate the losses when most of our contracts are a case rate and don’t cover these tests?”
The test and swab combined is about $82, so depending on your case rate, you may not be able to do it for those patients. Clearly if it’s a $165 rate there’s more margin to drive it than if the rate is $114. But unfortunately until the price of the test comes down, for some payers, those patients would still probably require send-out with the lab billing their insurance for an STD panel. As this takes off, demand increases, I would expect the price to fall and/or competing options to become available.
This is huge progress for urgent care. It enables a new service to reach new patients. It enables real-time test-and-treat and expedited partner therapy.
Alan Ayers has over 15 years’ experience in strategic planning, business development, clinical operations, sales/marketing and customer service for urgent care, occupational medicine, and primary care facilities.
Currently, Ayers serves as President of Experity Networks, responsible for identifying and cultivating new revenue streams and supporting strategic growth initiatives. Ayers has consulted with independent, PE-backed, and hospital-affiliated platforms representing over 1,000 units. He has also served as an expert witness in landlord-tenant litigation involving urgent care.
From 2017 to 2021, while still part of Experity, Ayers also served as Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care, a venture of Sentara Healthcare, growing the company from 7 to 17 locations building a complete operating and administrative infrastructure, assembling leadership and management teams, migrating systems, optimizing the staffing model, acquiring the hospital’s occ med practice, and implementing a values-based culture. In 2020, Velocity Urgent Care became the leading provider of COVID19 test services in its markets.