Just weeks ago we told you that 17 hospitals and healthcare systems from coast to coast were cutting back certain services. One of them, Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, has already closed its emergency room and the ripple effect is threatening to overwhelm other area healthcare facilities. Within days of Wellstar closing its ED doors, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Emory Midtown Hospital reported surges in their ED traffic, with Grady also seeing 25% to 30% more trauma patients than usual, according to a report published by The Atlanta Journal Constitution. And this is just in Atlanta, leading to the reasonable concern that the same scenario could play out in other areas served by hospitals making cuts. This could present a multifaceted opportunity for urgent care operators in surrounding areas. First, as we noted previously, patients who may have been inclined to go to the ED might now see your urgent care center as the closest viable option for prompt attention. Also, given the difficulties some operators have had with finding good candidates to fill job openings, there could be growing numbers of experienced clinical, front desk, and office staff eager to start fresh in your shop.

Update: Effects of Cuts in Hospital Services Are Immediate—and Overwhelming
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