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A study by West Virginia University has shown that urgent care not only has great potential to improve the chance for positive health outcomes in rural areas, but also holds great promise for operators who are willing to make the investment in the country. Joshua Hall, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for Free Enterprise at WVU’s College of Business and Economics, led a team of researchers who considered the entry of MedExpress neighborhood medical centers into Appalachian counties between 2001 and 2013. They reported that urgent care centers are beneficial to rural areas in multiple ways. They also predicted that operators who put down stakes where patients are currently forced to travel great distances for affordable, quality care would reap great rewards by becoming the “go-to” provider, building greater market share and garnering stronger patient loyalty than might be likely in more populated (and competitive) markets

Study Shows Promise in Rural Urgent Care Opportunities—for Patients and Operators
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