Traditional primary care practices may soon start to operate more like urgent care centers. Some won’t, of course, and may face economic consequences if an article recently published in The American Journal of Managed Care is any indication. Specifically, the authors suggest, a consumer-friendly approach more closely associated with retail businesses will be necessary in order to appeal to younger patient groups. The piece cautions senior management against making too many changes too quickly, however, or risk alienating their most senior providers. It also acknowledges that “the use of technology, standardization, big data, and more nonphysician workers in care delivery” is a trend not likely to go away. It even likens patients to a retail consumer “who is willing to shop for and purchase services within corporatized models of care delivery that possess the scale to create large, integrated healthcare marketplaces.” If you’re an urgent care veteran, this probably makes you think, We’ve been doing that all along! Which is why urgent care has flourished in recent years. The question then becomes, what’s next? You can gain some insights into that question by reading a JUCM article entitled Urgent Care 2.0: Health Systems Taking the Retail Approach to the Next Level.
Consumerism: It’s Not Just for Urgent Care Anymore