The downturn in the economy, looming entitlement reforms and potential budget cuts in america at the federal and state level are allowing the growth of urgent care clinics, also referred to as immediate care clinics, to substantially increase. This is considered to be a remedy to fill in the growing doctor shortage.
In accordance with industry reports and spending by large healthcare operators, the number of Urgent Care Near Me is projected to soar in the next decade. It really is estimated more and more than 8,000 urgent care clinics happen to be established – other numbers show 9,000 – and the Urgent Care Association of America reports eight to 10 % annual growth.
Urgent care facilities are different than traditional hospitals and therefore are rather similar to the health clinics found in places like Walmart and Walgreen since they are usually open on evenings and weekends and treat common medical issues – some immediate care clinics offer additional services like X-rays for broken bones.
Some medical professionals like to consider their urgent care clinics as after-hours doctors’ offices. Most of people who work in such a business office do note, however, patients may not get to visit a board-certified doctor or some other kind of specialist.
A large percentage of walk-in clinics and urgent care offices are managed and operated by non-profit health systems, which receive donations and contributions in order to pay for construction and renovation costs, patient care program support, general operations costs and equipment purchases, in accordance with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) annual Report on Giving study.
With so many of such operations setting up in malls, main streets and in major metropolitan cities, can the non-profit sector even purchase them? Well, Reuters is reporting that private equity firms have already been investing money into urgent care clinics over the past several years. Although there is a huge risk in investing in these clinics because of the potential for oversaturation and low insurance reimbursements, these firms work one-on-one with clinics to provide quality and to make profit.
Rand Health found that retailers are entering the healthcare marketplace too. Big box stores, like Target and Walmart, only had a few of these clinics during 2000, but today there are many than 1,200.
“Retail clinics emphasize convenience, with extended weekend and evening hours, no appointments, and short wait times,” the organization states in the report. “A lot more than 44 percent of retail clinic visits take place when physician offices are typically closed. Price transparency and low costs may additionally be particularly attractive for folks not insured.”
This is surely portion of the profit-motive for these particular corporations.
Regardless of the concerns one may have within the private sector getting involved in this kind of industry, urgent care clinics are part of the nation’s future healthcare market, especially since President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is bqbxru law in the land and definately will put in a burden to the system.
“Many factors could influence the future of retail clinics in the U.S. First, the growing body of evidence casting doubt on quality-of-care concerns could lead to greater acceptance and use of retail clinics,” Rand added.
“Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could also lead to continued retail clinic growth. With additional people insured as well as an increased need for primary care underneath the ACA, usage of primary care physicians could decrease. This may lead to increased demand for retail clinics. Similarly, if wait times for physician appointments increase-as continues to be the case in Massachusetts following its health reform-this might also increase retail clinic demand.”
Regardless of the concerns that some may have about private investment possibly cutting costs to boost its bottom line, urgent care clinics must offer remedies to medical issues otherwise the customer goes elsewhere to get proper medical assistance.