Marketplace Category

Wellmont Wants to Align Urgent Care Centers More Closely with Other Facilities
Wellmont Health System is taking a hard look at how it can integrate services among its urgent care centers and hospital facilities. The company has announced a goal of having an urgent care center within 30 minutes of every patient in its region. It’s noteworthy that Wellmont views distance between the urgent care center and the patient (and not the nearest hospital) to be of key importance. Given the trend toward viewing urgent care centers as the “front door” to the health system, it would make sense that the operatorRead More
FastMed Urgent Care has made an ambitious, intercontinental leap by opening its first urgent care location in China—the first such move by any U.S.-based urgent care operator. Sami Elbadramany, executive vice president of FastMed, says the company is betting that China’s efforts to transform its healthcare system by providing broader access to more of its citizens will dovetail nicely with the urgent care model. Its first location sits in the Pudong New District in Shanghai, but FastMed plans to continue expanding throughout the city and East China and ultimately acrossRead More
Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore has added its voice to the chorus decrying excessive costs for patients visiting hospital emergency rooms for episodic care. What’s more, new data it just revealed indicates the odds of getting overcharged are greater if you’re a minority or uninsured. Researchers considered the billing records for more than 12,000 U.S. hospital-based emergency physicians, finding that on average adult patients in the ED are charged 340% more than what Medicare allows for its members. Mark-ups were highest in for-profit hospitals in the southeast and Midwest—especially thoseRead More
The practice of physicians dismissing patients from their care seems to be on the uptick in recent years, according to a new report in JAMA Internal Medicine. Roughly 90% of the 794 practices that were part of the study have “fired” patients in the past 2 years—with 8% saying they’ve terminated relationships with ≥51 patients in that time. The greatest portion of participants (67%) has let up to 20 patients go. Only 10% have not dismissed patients during the study period. The authors noted that the number of dismissals tendedRead More
While family physicians remain the most commonly sought clinicians among recruiters, urgent care physicians jumped from 20th just 2 years ago to 12th in Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives. Given that primary care physicians are the backbone of the urgent care provider workforce, it’s expected that recruitment and retention will continue to be increasingly competitive. More and more, top employee physicians (as opposed to owner/operator physicians) are being courted by multi-unit operators and hospital systems that are expanding their urgent care presence. The effectRead More
Texas Children’s Hospital may not have an actual hospital in Austin, TX, but they’ll have a presence by virtue of plans to open pediatric urgent care centers and other facilities there over the next 3 years. Those centers, along with primary care practices, pediatric specialty clinics, and maternal-fetal medical practices, will be standalone locations that are not connected to any physical hospital in the vicinity. In effect, Texas Children’s will be using urgent care and its other outpatient services to open up a new market, highlighting the value they have toRead More
As we’ve told you previously, visionary urgent care operators are finding golden opportunities in empty spaces that in years past would not have been considered prime locations for healthcare facilities (banks, restaurants…). Now it looks like there could be similar opportunity in retail space being vacated in larger shopping centers and malls. An article in Business Insider suggests that big retail spaces, already finding it harder to fill vacancies with traditional shopping outlets, will have to find ways to “fulfill other community needs besides commerce” (with healthcare needs being amongRead More
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants to test the viability of allowing veterans covered by their plans to get care at CVS MinuteClinics. The new program, limited to the Phoenix area, is seemingly a response to complaints that veterans notoriously have to wait an inordinate amount of time to see providers at VA health centers. The pilot waves the VA Choice program rule that says veterans must wait 30 days or have to drive more than 40 miles to a facility in order to seek care elsewhere; instead, PhoenixRead More
Urgent care operator CityMD’s steady expansion in the New York metropolitan area has made it an appealing prospect for private equity, with Warburg Pincus LLC said to be putting down $600 million to bring it into its healthcare fold. CityMD has some 68 locations currently, after starting with a single New York City center in 2010. The company bought one of its competitors, Premier Care, but also built new locations as part of its growth strategy. CityMD will join Warburg Pincus’ portfolio of healthcare companies, which includes Alignment Healthcare, ComplexCareRead More
Downturns in other industries (remember video stores?) have proven to be golden opportunities for urgent care, as landlords eager to find solid customers have come to appreciate the industry’s stability. Now it appears that 10% of retail space may be up for grabs in the next few years, according to data from CoStar Group, thanks to the ever-growing popularity of online retailers. A fondness for take-out food is also hurting middle-of-the-road restaurants. Healthcare is practically immune to downturns, however. And urgent care continues to be on an upward trajectory. NowRead More