High costs are forcing consumers to think long and hard about where they want to go when the need to see a healthcare provider, according to data newly released by Loyale Healthcare—which dovetails with the growing availability (and popularity) of urgent care. The authors of the report note that urgent care centers “represent an increasingly popular low-cost alternative to hospital emergency departments.” Further, their utility has been amplified by “the Millennial generation’s preferences for convenience and efficiency.” There’s reason to believe urgent care will continue growing for the foreseeable future, too, according to the article. With the burgeoning shortage of primary care providers (projected to be a deficit of between 14,800 and 49,300 providers by 2030), the article predicts that urgent care will take on a “supportive” role in the healthcare continuum—not stealing patients away from PCPs, as some have feared, but working in conjunction with patients’ “regular” doctors to provide a broader opportunity for care. The fixed-price model employed by many urgent care centers completes the picture painted by the report.
New Data Reveal Why Patients Keep (and Will Continue) Flocking to Urgent Care