According to data from Experity, urgent care as a whole has come roaring back from several bleak months at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. However, there are some dire predictions that we could all be in for a second wallop with children returning to school and flu season approaching. Some urgent care operators are taking a hard look at why they suffered so during the first wave—and are taking steps to ensure they’re better prepared if things turn for the worse again. One problem, as we’ve discussed in JUCM News, is that many patients were afraid that visiting any healthcare facility would expose them to undue risk for infection. Many urgent care operators turned to telemedicine. Range Urgent Care in Asheville, NC is one, but they’ve also gone one step further in an effort to reach as many patients as possible, in a way that’s best for them. The latest development is that Range now offers house calls from physicians or nurse practitioners, during which COVID-19 tests and other labs, ECGs, and IV fluids can be administered. Every vehicle “is stocked with a mini pharmacy of most of the most common prescriptions needed for many urgent care complaints,” the company told television station WLOS, also emphasizing that providers do not travel with controlled substances. While house calls may not be an option for some urgent care providers, flexibility and the ability to adapt to ever-changing challenges have become essential to survival.
Urgent Care Operators Are Evolving in Response to the Pandemic