Why the US’s Largest Hospital Operator Just Bought an Urgent Care Chain


Shoreline urgent care

Whether you live in an urban area, a rural area, or somewhere in between, you have likely noticed the appearance of a new kind of medical walk in clinic over the last few years. These clinics, called urgent care centers, are designed to offer urgent medical care for a wide array of non-life-threatening conditions, ranging from ear infections to flu symptoms. These urgent care facilities have therefore been instrumental in relieving pressure on local doctors offices and hospitals, as well as providing affordable, timely medical care for millions of patients. And corporations are beginning to take notice: in late October, one of the largest hospital operators in the United States announced that they would be purchasing a Dallas-based chain of urgent care facilities.

On October 28, Reuters reported that HCA Holdings Inc had announced their deal to acquire CareNow, a private operator of 24 urgent care facilities throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. This deal was only HCA’s latest investment in the American healthcare industry: currently, the Nashville-based corporation manages 116 hospitals and 113 surgery centers in 20 states. However, their choice to purchase urgent care facilities reflects the growing prominence these clinics have on medical care in the U.S.

There are an estimated 7,164 urgent care clinics located throughout the U.S. Required to offer extended hours, some urgent care facilities are even open 24/7, making the natural choice for patients who can’t make it to their doctor’s office during normal business hours. Moreover, urgent care centers charge co-pays that can be as much as 40 to 50% less expensive than a trip to the emergency room, making them a preferable option for many. And with more facilities offering X-rays, physicals, routine blood work, and other important services, it is likely that urgent care clinics will only continue to grow. By investing in these medical centers now, HCA likely made a valuable purchase that will instrumental to their corporation’s success in years to come. Find out more here.

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