A South Carolina hospital group is the latest institution to try to cash in on urgent care’s growing appeal, by franchising four urgent care facilities in the upstate region. Bon Secours St. Francis will brand its “new” properties Bon Secours Express Care, in concert with the one urgent care location it has in Greenville, SC. A new article published in the GSA Business Report, an online journal covering various industries in South Carolina, cites data from the Urgent Care Association of America indicating that more than half of insured Americans have expressed difficulty in getting same-day or next-day appointments to see a healthcare provider. It also points to a 2016 poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University showing that 27% of all Americans have received care at an urgent care facility within the past 2 years. Finally, the article repeats what urgent care insiders have known for years: that hospitals are getting into the urgent care business as a way of reducing bottlenecks in their emergency rooms without losing revenue when patients seek more efficient care elsewhere. The article quotes Marcus Blackstone, MD, senior group lead physician for primary care at Bon Secours St. Francis and Jim Ellis, vice president of clinical affairs at Greenville (SC) Health System as saying their expectation is that urgent care will continue to grow in popularity among patients and, therefore, as an influence on other care settings.
More Hospitals Are Expanding Care by Adding Urgent Care Locations