Industry executives predict that as more patients come to understand the level and breadth of service available at urgent care centers, along with the cost and efficiency benefits, they’ll flock to centers in even greater numbers than they have in recent years. For example, the Urgent Care Association estimates that the average cost of a trip to an urgent care facility is $155, comparing favorably with the cost of an average trip to the emergency room ($1,300). Richard Martin, MD, director of more than a dozen Careworks facilities owned by Geisinger Health System, says as the healthcare “machine” continues to grow more complex, patients will find the relative simplicity of a trip to an urgent care center comforting. MedExpress Director of Communications Annie Jamieson notes that patients becoming more savvy and conscientious about how and when they seek care also works to urgent care’s advantage. Urgent care industry executives across the board are predicting continued growth in the sector next year.
Better Understanding of Urgent Care Will Propel Growth in 2017