We’ve all seen the data concerning the “graying” of the population and physician shortages (it’s not good), and within this industry intuited that urgent care will play an important role in providing care when and where it’s needed most. New data now show just how big an opportunity there is for urgent care operators. Looking at estimates of current volumes per urgent care center within the context of population density, demographics, and payer mix, Health System Advisors (HSA) and Urgent Care Partners (UCP) say demand for urgent care is 22% greater than the current supply. This is based on assessed demand of 560 visits per 1,000 persons per year, and takes into account the ongoing trend of patients seeking more convenience in healthcare delivery. Paradoxically “undersupplied” areas are most likely to be in either rural or inner city markets. In summary, HSA and UCP suggest that utilization of urgent care will continue to grow along with the number of centers. “Health systems positioned in suburban and urban areas should move quickly to build their urgent care platform,” their report concludes.
Data Are Clear: We Need More Urgent Care Centers!