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Urgent Care De Novo Growth health System Vs Non-Health System
Urgent Care De Novo Growth By Size Year-Over-Year

The urgent care industry continues to add de novo centers, according to data from Experity and National Urgent Care Realty. Although de novo growth slowed in 2023 by 5%, 2023 de novos are still 16% higher than 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. In addition to continued overall growth of the industry, the data indicates structural changes in who is opening de novos.

A “de novo” urgent care refers to a center that did not previously exist. To clarify, there’s a difference in the growth rate of urgent care rooftops, which nets de novos against closures, and the growth rate of de novos. The tables below deal with the latter—a year-over-year comparison of urgent care de novos.

Table 1 demonstrates that health system de novos (including hospital joint ventures) are down 3%, and non-health system de novos are down 6%. However, compared to 2019, health system de novos are down 23%, whereas non-health system de novos are up 49%. 

Table 2 demonstrates that pre-pandemic growth was led by 2-4 center operators but when compared to 2019, de novos by 2-4 unit operators have fallen by 57%.  Meanwhile, 10+ unit operators have seen a 347% increase in de novos.

Independent, single location sites follow “enterprise” with a 9% increase in de novos compared to 2019.

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Robust Urgent Care De Novo Growth Continues

Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc

President of Experity Consulting and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine