The downturn in the economy, looming entitlement reforms and potential budget cuts in the usa at the federal and state level are allowing the development of urgent care clinics, otherwise known as immediate care clinics, to substantially increase. This is recognized as a remedy to fill in the growing doctor shortage.
According to industry reports and spending by large healthcare operators, the number of 24 Hour Urgent Care Near Me is projected to soar in the next decade. It is estimated that more than 8,000 urgent care clinics have already been 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 like the health clinics found in places like Walmart and Walgreen as 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 take into consideration their urgent care clinics as after-hours doctors’ offices. Most of those that work in such an office do note, however, patients may not reach view a board-certified doctor or another 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 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 the amount of of such operations putting together 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 already been investing money into urgent care clinics in the last couple of years. Although there is a significant risk in making an investment 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 around 2000, these days there are other than 1,200.
“Retail clinics emphasize convenience, with extended weekend and evening hours, no appointments, and short wait times,” the business states in the report. “More than 44 percent of retail clinic visits occur when physician offices are generally closed. Price transparency and low costs may additionally 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 over the private sector participating in this type of industry, urgent care clinics are area of the nation’s future healthcare market, especially since President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is bqbxru law in the land and will add a burden to the system.
“Many factors could influence the way forward for retail clinics inside 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) may also lead to continued retail clinic growth. With more people insured as well as an increased need for primary care beneath the ACA, access to primary care physicians could decrease. This may lead to increased demand for retail clinics. Similarly, if wait times for physician appointments increase-as has been 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 health issues otherwise the customer goes elsewhere to obtain proper medical attention.