The growth in urgent care industry is noteworthy.
According to the Urgent Care Association of America, “Urgent care clinics, today, are offering services beyond the usual primary care office”. It was an $18 billion industry in 2018 with an expected growth rate of nearly 5.8 percent.
By any standards, urgent care modules are becoming an increasingly popular form for delivering medical care with even more players slated to enter the field. This trend is not surprising because urgent care centers not only are open beyond office hours, but are also offering more by way of a board certified physician plus services like lab tests and X-rays for broken bones.
The primary advantage of an urgent care center is you have care when you need it. The question, “Do you need an appointment at urgent care?” is no longer asked by patients.
It is walk-in straightaway and you are seen in quick time. Convenience and access are by far the biggest reasons for people visiting urgent care. For colds, sprains, and lacerations immediate care is the answer when primary care clinics are closed.
“My children do not have to miss the classes as we can visit walk in medical care near me any time. And if someone is down with flu we do not have to wait till Monday”, says a school teacher based in MD.
Another driving reason for the popularity of urgent care facilities is the scarcity of primary care physicians. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the country can expect a shortfall of more than 49,000 primary care doctors by 2030.
Moreover, it is a cheaper alternative.
Minor cases like burns, infections, and fever are treated in a less expensive setting than in an ER. 2018 statistics reveal that urgent care clinics handle nearly 89 million visits each year – a figure higher than primary care visits.
Many of the clinics have ground floor locations to provide convenient access. Moreover, patients can schedule same day visits online. All this is a customer centric approach leveraging technology. In a nutshell, care is provided quickly, easily, and inexpensively.
It is no wonder urgent care is very appealing to millennials. This generation is making up for nearly a fourth of all visits.
Immediate care centers are playing a vital role in the continuum of care, by providing services to a broad base of patients that are unable to see a primary care doctor due to various reasons.