If you are researching profitable franchise industries, then you know the healthcare sector is hot. Ever since the pandemic hit in early 2020, the market size in medical care has expanded as more people make their health a priority or seek out care. Two health-related business opportunities are experiencing some of the most significant and sustainable growth: home care franchising and urgent care centers. But which one is the best investment? Take a closer look.
Home Care Franchising
In the next 25 years, more than 83 million Americans will be over age 65. Surveys suggest nearly 90 percent of adults over age 50 want to remain at home and age in place instead of moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility. This presents a huge opportunity for home care franchising.
Home care franchises assist clients, mostly seniors, with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, light cleaning, and companionship.
The senior care industry is valued at over $380 billion and is expected to continue to grow. Another upside of owning a home care franchise is that the demand for these types of services in the United States will only balloon as the aging population expands, providing a range of opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest in business ventures that serve to improve people’s quality of life.
Challenges Facing the Home Care Industry
While there is the potential for profitability, there are many monetary challenges to contend with including government and insurance red tape to receive payment. This is due to the rising cost of insurance and the dependence of seniors upon government programs such as Medicare.
Staffing is another issue. Keeping up with the aging population presents a real struggle in the caregiver workforce, which seems to be dwindling. In fact, a shortage of more than 150,000 caregivers will exist by 2030. There will be a shortfall of 355,000caregivers by 2040, according to the Global Coalition on Aging.
Part of the reason recruitment and retention is a challenge in the home care franchising industry is because caregiver salaries are low. Median annual earnings in the U.S. are $20,000.
In order to close the gap between supply and demand, home care franchise operators will need to increase wages – which will mean less profit.
Urgent Care Franchising
The Urgent Care industry represents one of the fastest-growing segments of our nation’s healthcare system. Urgent Care represents a $38.5 billion industry – more than doubling in the past four years. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the rapid growth, leading to an expected 3.4 percent increase in market size this year. This unmatched activity includes an influx of visits from new patients, which presents an opportunity for post-pandemic business growth.
Statistics from the Urgent Care Association of America reveal some urgent care clinics reach profitability within 90 days of opening their doors. Of course, this depends on the clinic’s location and patient count. The rate of return on investment in an urgent care franchise is one of the driving forces behind the industry’s growth. The average estimated revenue per patient is $188 – multiply that by 30 patients per day every month and a clear picture of the potential profits becomes clear.
Demand for convenient access to health care is a major driver in the growth of urgent care franchises. Unnecessary visits to emergency rooms are dropping as patients realize urgent care franchises can provide them with the care they need, when they need it, without the long wait times and exorbitant medical bill.
Urgent care franchises are also siphoning patients from primary care offices. Visits to primary care physicians (PCPs) declined 18% between 2012 and 2016. Patients are turning to urgent care centers for more of their health needs – rather than just emergencies. The top three reasons given by patients for not visiting a PCP include it took too long to get an appointment, unbearable wait time at the doctor’s office, and no walk-in appointments available.
There is also a new trend emerging in healthcare. Younger generations of Americans no longer seek out a patient-doctor relationship – something that was once a cornerstone in our nation’s health care system.
Today, patients choose a doctor through their health insurance provider’s website based on who is in-network, accepting new patients and located close to their home or office. Marketing is also beginning to play a bigger role in where patients go for care. Rather than knowing a particular doctor by name, patients recognize health care facilities such as American Family Care and will seek out care based on brand awareness.
The AFC Opportunity
AFC is one of the most widely recognized urgent care franchises in the country. Our urgent care clinics are a proven business model developed over decades of experience by medical and business leaders. We provide comprehensive training and ongoing support and help franchise owners and their employees remain up to date on best practices and are always innovating new ways to simplify operations and implement the latest technology.
To learn more about the urgent care franchise industry and the opportunities available with AFC, fill out this form and one of our franchise development representatives will be in touch.