Medical Office Perspectives
Urgent care is a growing and accepted part of the healthcare delivery system
Urgent Care Centers Eclipse 9,200 Locations
Source: Urgent Care Association Report, November 2019
The number of U.S. urgent care locations reached 9,272 in June 2019. Urgent care is most frequently found in off campus, community settings including convenient retail locations. Walk-in urgent care with weeknight and weekend hours caters to consumer preferences, treat routine health needs, frequently with X-ray imaging and physicians not found at retail health clinics operated by drugstore and similar retailers.
The number of urgent care centers rose quickly at 45% between 2014 and 2019.
As urgent care has become more accepted and expected by consumers, ownership has shifted from entrepreneurial investors and physicians to health systems. Physician ownership accounted for 54% of the U.S. market in 2008 but has now dropped to 40% or less. By comparison, hospital ownership had jumped to 37% in 2014 compared to just shy of 25% in 2008.
Urgent care aligns with many healthcare systems’ objectives of providing cost effective, accessible care, particularly when integrated with other ancillary, specialty and primary care strategies.
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