The downturn in the economy, looming entitlement reforms and potential budget cuts in the United States at the federal and state level are allowing the development of urgent care clinics, also known as immediate care clinics, to substantially increase. This is regarded as a remedy to fill in the growing doctor shortage.
According to industry reports and spending by large healthcare operators, the amount of Hospital Near Me is projected to soar within the next decade. It is estimated more than 8,000 urgent care clinics happen to be established – other numbers show 9,000 – and also the Urgent Care Association of America reports eight to 10 percent annual growth.
Urgent care facilities are different than traditional hospitals and they are rather similar to the health clinics found in places like Walmart and Walgreen as 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 healthcare professionals like to consider their urgent care clinics as after-hours doctors’ offices. Most of those who work in these a business office do note, however, patients may not reach view a board-certified doctor or any other kind of specialist.
A large proportion 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, in accordance with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) annual Report on Giving study.
With the amount of of these operations putting together 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 happen to be investing money into urgent care clinics in the last several years. While there is a significant risk in making an investment in these clinics as a result of possibility of oversaturation and low insurance reimbursements, these firms work one-on-one with clinics to supply 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 around 2000, however nowadays there are other than 1,200.
“Retail clinics emphasize convenience, with extended weekend and evening hours, no appointments, and short wait times,” the organization states in their report. “More than 44 percent of retail clinic visits occur when physician offices are typically closed. Price transparency and low costs may even be particularly attractive for folks not insured.”
This can be surely part of the profit-motive for these particular corporations.
Whatever the concerns one may have on the private sector engaging in this type of industry, urgent care clinics are portion of the nation’s future healthcare market, especially since President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is bqbxru law from the land and will put in a burden towards the system.
“Many factors could influence the way forward for 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 use of retail clinics,” Rand added.
“Full implementation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may also lead to continued retail clinic growth. With more people insured plus an increased need for primary care underneath the ACA, use of primary care physicians could decrease. This may lead to increased demand for retail clinics. Similarly, if wait times for physician appointments increase-as has become 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 improve its bottom line, urgent care clinics must offer remedies to medical issues otherwise the buyer will go elsewhere to obtain proper medical assistance.