New Year’s resolutions to lose weight may be even more prevalent in 2022 than in years past, thanks to nearly 2 years of people feeling inhibited (or even banned) from hitting the gym during the pandemic. At the same time, many urgent care operators are still fighting to recover from hardships they suffered in the COVID-19 era. On the surface, it could seem like a great time to take a flyer on offering weight-loss services. Before investing time and money into such an initiative, however, consider the following:
- Efficient throughput is the lifeblood of a successful urgent care center. Anything that reduces the number of patients per hour given the finite number of providers—which is a major challenge in the industry right now—is likely to detract from your effort to keep things moving. And weight-loss counseling takes time.
- Introducing a new process into a day already packed with COVID-19 testing, worker’s comp cases, lacerations, and sore throats is likely to be highly disruptive.
- With approximately 80% of visits concerning the top 20 diagnoses in urgent care, it’s clear that efficiency is achieved largely through repetition.
- Patients (appropriately) view urgent care as a wise choice for episodic care; retraining them to view your facility as a viable choice for weight loss when there are already businesses for whom that’s the sole mission is going to take time and marketing dollars, with no guarantee of success.
- Your most successful patients (those who reach their goal weight) are destined to stop using your services.
- It’s unlikely urgent care centers will start stocking food items and supplements intended to help patients on their weight-loss journey, leaving prescription of weight-loss drugs as the probable most valued service—and weight loss drugs are highly regulated.