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Feature Story: Urgent care opportunities abound

R.E. strategies for such facilities is no longer an ‘affluent suburban’ or ‘Sunbelt’ play

By John B. Mugford

Gary Weatherford of GoHealth Urgent Care (center) describes his firm’s approach to evaluating urgent care center opportunities during the ICSC RECon convention in Las Vegas. He was joined by fellow panelist Alan Ayers of Urgent Care Consultants (left) and moderator David Wirth of Cushman & Wakefield (right). (Photo courtesy of ICSC)

Although some suburban markets nationwide have reached a saturation point when it comes to the number of urgent care centers (UCCs), changes in healthcare and payment systems are creating more and more opportunities in new areas throughout the country.

“We’ve seen the saturation in some suburban markets,” said Alan Ayers, senior consultant with Rockford, Ill.-based Urgent Care Consultants, which has provided a host of advisory services to more than 200 UCCs nationwide.

“We’ve seen the change in the model where both the payor market has changed, (as states are increasingly) outsourcing their Medicaid programs,” he noted. “So where urgent care got started, Medicaid populations really weren’t viable for urgent care. That’s now changing.”

He added that even though the development and placement of urgent care facilities started out as “a Sunbelt phenomenon, an affluent suburban phenomenon, now it’s becoming almost ubiquitous, with a lot of opportunities evolving in rural and secondary markets.”

Mr. Ayers and Gary Weatherford, chief customer officer with Atlanta-based GoHealth Urgent Care, were part of a panel session focused on real estate strategies for UCCs during the healthcare portion of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) RECon global convention held May 19-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The session, titled, “The Doctor is in: Urgent Care Clinics’ Real Estate Strategy,” was moderated by David Wirth, director of retail services in the St. Louis office of Cushman & Wakefield,

The panelists discussed

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