The economic downturn, looming entitlement reforms and potential budget cuts in the United States 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 recognized as a remedy to fill in the growing doctor shortage.
Based on industry reports and spending by large healthcare operators, the quantity of Urgent Care Near Me Open is projected to soar inside the next decade. It really is estimated that more than 8,000 urgent care clinics have already been established – other numbers show 9,000 – as well as the Urgent Care Association of America reports eight to 10 percent annual growth.
Urgent care facilities are not the same than traditional hospitals and therefore are rather just like the health clinics found in places like Walmart and Walgreen since they are usually open on evenings and weekends and treat common health issues – some immediate care clinics offer additional services like X-rays for broken bones.
Some healthcare professionals like to consider their urgent care clinics as after-hours doctors’ offices. Most of those that work in these a business office do note, however, patients may not get to see a board-certified doctor or another 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 cover construction and renovation costs, patient care program support, general operations costs and equipment purchases, according to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) annual Report on Giving study.
With so many of those operations establishing in malls, main streets as well as in major metropolitan cities, can the non-profit sector even pay for them? Well, Reuters is reporting that private equity firms have been investing money into urgent care clinics within the last few years. While there is a significant risk in investing in these clinics as a result of potential for oversaturation and low insurance reimbursements, these firms work one-on-one with clinics to offer quality and to make profit.
Rand Health found that retailers are entering the healthcare marketplace too. Big box stores, such as Target and Walmart, only had a few of these clinics in the year 2000, these days 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. “Greater than 44 percent of retail clinic visits occur when physician offices are typically closed. Price transparency and low costs may also be particularly attractive for individuals without being insured.”
This really is surely part of the profit-motive for these particular corporations.
No matter the concerns one may have on the private sector getting involved in such an industry, urgent care clinics are portion of the nation’s future healthcare market, especially since President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is bqbxru law of the land and will add a burden for the system.
“Many factors could influence the future of retail clinics within the U.S. First, the growing body of evidence casting doubt on quality-of-care concerns could lead to greater acceptance and make use of of retail clinics,” Rand added.
“Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can also lead to continued retail clinic growth. With increased people insured as well as an increased interest in primary care under the ACA, access to primary care physicians could decrease. This may lead to increased need for retail clinics. Similarly, if wait times for physician appointments increase-as has been the case in Massachusetts following its health reform-this may also increase retail clinic demand.”
Regardless of the concerns that some may have about private investment possibly cutting costs to improve its bottom line, urgent care clinics must offer remedies to health issues otherwise the customer will go elsewhere to get proper medical treatment.