You don’t hear much about urgent care–emergency room “hybrid” locations—unless you happen to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Albuquerque, or Indianapolis market, where they’re starting to become more common. Like urgent care, the UCC/ED combo locations (wherein an urgent care center and a freestanding ED are “co-located” on the same property) have gotten the attention of real estate professionals who recognize a perfect pairing between businesses looking for a lease and high-traffic shopping centers. Healthcare Real Estate Highlights recently posted an article on its website revealing that Intuitive Health is planning to place 40 new UCC/ED facilities in the next 2 to 3 years alone. The markets in which they’ll be located have not been announced. This new wrinkle in the walk-in care marketplace was validated by a deep discussion at the recent International Council of Shopping Centers New York Deal Making conference recently. None of this assures that such operations will help achieve overall cost savings like traditional urgent care centers have, of course. Given that these are commercial enterprises that rely on profits to survive, just like any other business, who’s to say that some patients who could be treated safely and efficiently on the urgent care side won’t be referred to the freestanding ED side because that would be more profitable?
Real Estate Pros Are Intrigued by Urgent Care–ED ‘Hybrids’—but Are They a Good Idea?