Data from a new study by UnitedHealth Group show that urgent care centers could be providing care for millions of American children who have limited access to well-child visits. Looking at the care of plan members between the ages of 3 and 18 in West Virginia, they found that only one out of three children received an annual well-child visit—with the shortfall being especially dramatic among Medicaid-covered families, children of color, and in rural areas. Extrapolating the data to a national level, UHG estimates there are roughly 10 million “gaps” in primary care well-child visits annually—all of which could be closed, hypothetically, if every urgent care center delivered three well-child visits per day. Currently, according to UHG data, urgent care center provide approximately 30% of primary care to all ages in the U.S. annually. The full text of the UHG report is available here. For a review on how to make your practice appealing to families with children, read Making Your Urgent Care More Child-Friendly in the JUCM archive.
UHG Study: Too Many Children Lack Primary Care; Urgent Care Could Be Filling the Gaps