Urgent care’s roots are in entrepreneurial physicians who felt there was a better way to practice medicine, and blazed a new path that led to the industry we see today. As urgent care veterans know, though, it wasn’t too long before health systems recognized that a) the model really does work and b) urgent care was creeping in on their territory. So, they started buying up existing urgent care operations or starting their own. Consequently, the employment model is changing, especially for clinicians; the medical director is more likely to be an employee, as opposed to the owner, than they might have been a few years ago. Health systems are working out how to maximize every provider’s productivity. This is all supported by data from new research from the consulting firm Merritt Hawkins, which show that physician-employees are big money makers for the health systems that employ them. The results show that physicians in different specialties produce an average of nearly $2.4 million for affiliated hospitals annually—up over 52% since the most recent Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey (2016).
Evolutions in the Healthcare Market Are Changing the Urgent Care Employment Model