The number of urgent care clinics in the United States has exploded in the past five years. In fact, the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine says there are currently as many as 9,300 clinics in the country. It’s very clear that this care model is growing.
There was a time consumers were not entirely sure if an urgent care center offered any real benefit to them. Many assumed urgent care was simply a type of physician’s office with extended hours. But as urgent care clinics have evolved, so has consumer awareness of the benefits they offer.
Be Exactly What Patients and Payers Want
One of the first ways urgent care clinics have evolved is they figured out exactly what consumers wanted and delivered it to them. And what consumers want is to be treated quickly and for less out of pocket costs. Many clinics are one-stop shops where those in need can receive the care they need without worrying whether they need an emergency room or urgent care facility.
As important as it has become for clinics to be what the consumers need them to be to get that foot traffic, it has become equally important to be what payers need them to be to get paid. Some health insurance companies will only pay freestanding emergency departments (FED), while others only urgent care facilities, and so many clinics have found it necessary to become both. Read More