The urgent care industry—always revolutionary compared with other practice settings—is undergoing a revolution of its own. First, entrepreneurial physicians ruled the roost (recall the much-maligned and unfairly categorized “doc in a box”). Then, hospitals figured out they were missing the boat on the practice and financial benefits of the urgent care approach and began acquiring or building their own urgent care centers. As of 2016, though, corporate ownership is most prevalent, followed by physician and hospital owners, respectively. (Urgent care is not alone in this trend, by the way; the American Medical Association reported that physician ownership of practice, regardless of setting, fell below half [47%] for the first time ever.)
With megamergers involving more disparate industries (eg, online retailers and insurers) staking their claim to healthcare concerns, who can say what the picture may look like in 2020?
Data source: Urgent Care Association of America/Urgent Care Association (www.ucaoa.org).