In a bold attempt to wrangle Millennial patients in search of a healthcare setting that meets their needs, a company called Forward is billing itself as the “Next Gen Doctor’s Office.” Its website promises whole-body wellness, a personalized health plan, and unlimited office visits (and “app support”). Essentially, it’s a direct, membership-based primary care model that offers 24/7 on-demand access via telemedicine. The obvious question for JUCM News readers is, what does this mean for urgent care? On the one hand, it could clearly be a disruptive influence that diverts patients in the 23- to 38-year-old age range who might otherwise become regular urgent care visitors. After all, the appealing thing about urgent care to this age group is that it offers a high level of care that doesn’t rely on an ongoing relationship with a provider or a practice. On the other, the very idea could be a viable one for existing urgent care operators to explore as a way to offer another mode of services to new and current patients. It remains to be seen whether being “Forward-thinking” in this sense would pay off in the long run.
‘Forward’ Is Moving in That Direction—But How Far?