The rise in healthcare consumerism combined with the primary care physician shortage has fueled growth in the urgent care industry, with experts anticipating that this segment will reach $18 billion in 2017.
That sounds like good news for medically underserved areas — except that demographic analysis of communities with urgent care centers shows that more than 75 percent are located in urban or suburban areas and where residents are more likely to have higher incomes and private insurance levels.
What could encourage urgent care centers to help close healthcare access gaps experienced by medically underserved patients? Having the strategies and tools need to operate cost-effectively—even when caring for patients facing poverty, low health literacy or language barriers.
4 Tactics for Building Urgent Care Profit Margins
Data from the Urgent Care Association of America notes that startup costs can be high for urgent care centers because many do not receive reimbursements from third-party payers, which slows the rate of their return on investment.
That trend is changing, however, thanks to broader acceptance of urgent care accreditation and specialized training programs. In addition, payers recognize that urgent care centers represent a significant savings when they keep people out of the ER for non-emergency conditions.