A trend toward high-deductible health plans and new technologies that ease access are pushing consumers to demand more from healthcare encounters, according to a new research report from CBInsights. This is evidenced by the growing popularity of “wearable” health-tracking devices and telemedicine services, but also in the number of patients who continue to flock to urgent care centers, according to the report. That, in turn, makes the industry attractive to private-equity investors, who “see opportunities in streamlining operations, bundling different clinic chains, and standardizing processes and tools.” The report points to Warburg Pincus’s investment in CityMD as a prime example. It also delineates “typical” pricing for specific diagnoses in urgent care vs emergency rooms (eg, a visit for acute bronchitis, listed at $127 in urgent care and $595 in the ED).
Research Report: Consumer-Centric Healthcare Favors Urgent Care