It won’t be news to you that patient visits dropped—precipitously at times—over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. And there’s no getting around the fact that business has suffered, though it’s also a plain fact that many patients are returning.

What is probably less evident, but certainly interesting, is that between 2019 and 2020 urgent care centers saw less of a decline in  utilization than emergency rooms and ambulatory surgery centers,

 as illustrated in the graph below.

At the same time, according to the same report from FAIR Healthcare, urgent care centers continued to prove a more cost-effective choice for healthcare consumers in 2020. The median charge for a visit to an urgent care center that year was $221, compared with a median charge of $226 for visits to a traditional physician’s office.

Urgent Care More Resilient Graph
Yes, Urgent Care Lost Visits During the Pandemic—but Other Settings Lost Far More
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