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Hospital chains and insurance companies continue to invest in urgent care centers at an ever-increasing pace, while also forging partnerships with independently owned clinics, according to a report from Merchant Medicine. The perception is that as Americans live to an older age—and stay active longer while doing it—they want more convenient care for nonemergent injuries while maintaining a relationship with institutions they’ve come to trust. Current data from the Urgent Care Association (UCA) show that 22% of the nation’s 7,100 full-service urgent care centers are owned by hospitals, while 15% are joint ventures. The same UCA survey shows that about 87% of urgent care operators bought or built a new location in 2014. Apparently there’s plenty of need, as 89% of urgent care businesses participating in the survey said patient visits were up from the previous year.

Data Show More Institutions Getting into the Urgent Care Market