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If urgent care had a family tree, it would show an ancestry rich in physicians with a pioneer spirit—individuals who wanted to find a way of practicing medicine that they believed to be more sensible, efficient, and economical while still offering excellent clinical care. Based on the decades that followed, up through today and beyond it’s safe to say the “experiment” has been an unqualified success.
This is not a story with a complete beginning, middle, and end, of course. This is a path that continues to evolve. While there are still urgent care operations owned and managed by entrepreneurs, hospital systems and venture capitalists eventually realized they were missing out on a good thing and jumped on the bandwagon by investing—heavily—in the urgent care market.
Below is a current listing of the 100 largest “private” urgent care operators in the United States, by number of locations. Please note this accounting does not include companies that own only health system urgent care centers, according to April 2023 data from National UC Realty.