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With an ongoing physician shortage expected to get worse in the coming years, the flexibility and cost advantages offered by urgent care could improve access to quality care for many while strengthening the industry’s place in the continuum of care. Rural areas are being hit especially hard, as are states with higher concentrations of minorities. Savvy urgent care operators will look to those areas when considering new locations. Some states are even willing to sweeten the pot for individual practitioners; Texas offers a $500 housing and transportation allowance for those training in underserved areas, while Florida pays medical and nursing students up to $3,000 for doing clinical rotations in community health centers. It’s also worth noting that nearly all states have accepted telemedicine. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that the U.S. will face a shortage of as many as 94,700 physicians by the year 2025.

Opportunity is Ripe for Urgent Care to Plug Holes in Access to Care