Did you know that urgent care facilities generate over $14 billion for the American economy every year? In the last decade, urgent medical care has grown from a couple of maverick facilities that were seen as fads to one of the dominant medical institutions in the country. At last check, over 8,000 facilities existed within the U.S., with industry analysts expecting that number to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. What’s behind this projected leap in growth? As it turns out, there are many factors driving the spread of advanced urgent care centers.
Three Reasons Urgent Care in the U.S. is So Popular
- Short to Nonexistent Wait Times
- Increased Access to Care
- Urgent Care Services Are Cheaper
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, one of the biggest reasons urgent care in the U.S. is really taking off is because of the greatly reduced wait times they offer. Approximately 60% of urgent care facilities offer average wait times under 15 minutes, while emergency departments across the country continue making patients wait hours to be seen. The benefit here is pretty clear.
As doctors have started to specialize in certain fields of medicine, primary care providers have been finding it increasingly difficult to see all of their patients on a timely basis. As the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine points out, 29% of primary care physicians in the United States offer no coverage for patients needing help after-hours. In other words, unless patients can magically only have emergencies during their PCP’s office hours, they’re going to be out of luck. Urgent care facilities are known for their long, flexible hours that ensure Americans can find the care they need, whenever they need it.
Unarguably, the biggest driver of the success of urgent care in the U.S. is cost. As statistics from Debt.org show, the average visit to an urgent care facility is a lot cheaper than a visit to the ER. On average, a trip to the ER results in a bill of $570, whereas the average urgent care bill ranges from $71 to $125. As Americans continue struggling to make ends meet, the role of cost in urgent care’s success cannot be overstated.
Have you ever turned to urgent care in your town? Let us know about your experience in the comments below! Good refereneces.