The downturn in the economy, looming entitlement reforms and potential budget cuts in america 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 considered to be 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 Now is projected to soar within the next decade. It is actually estimated more and more than 8,000 urgent care clinics have 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 similar to the health clinics found in places like Walmart and Walgreen because they are usually open on evenings and weekends and treat common health problems – some immediate care clinics provide additional services like X-rays for broken bones.
Some medical experts like to think about their urgent care clinics as after-hours doctors’ offices. Most of people who work such an office do note, however, patients may not get to visit a board-certified doctor or any 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 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 the amount of of these operations putting together in malls, main streets and in major metropolitan cities, can the non-profit sector even buy them? Well, Reuters is reporting that private equity firms have been investing money into urgent care clinics within the last couple of years. Although there is a significant risk in making an investment in these clinics due to the possibility of 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, including Target and Walmart, only had a few of these clinics in the year 2000, but today there are more 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. “Greater than 44 percent of retail clinic visits occur when physician offices are generally closed. Price transparency and low costs may also be particularly attractive for people without insurance.”
This is surely portion of the profit-motive for these corporations.
No matter the concerns one may have over 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 definately will give 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 utilize of retail clinics,” Rand added.
“Full implementation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could also lead to continued retail clinic growth. With increased people insured as well as an increased need for primary care under the ACA, use of primary care physicians could decrease. This may lead to increased need for retail clinics. Similarly, if wait times for physician appointments increase-as has become the case in Massachusetts following its health reform-this could also increase retail clinic demand.”
Regardless of the concerns that some may have about private investment possibly cutting costs to increase its bottom line, urgent care clinics must offer remedies to health issues otherwise the customer should go elsewhere to receive proper medical treatment.