The urgent care market size is growing faster than ever before and is projected to reach $40.7 billion by 2027. Here’s why the market’s hot.
CARE FOR EVERYONE
Amidst the global COVID-19 crisis, the urgent care market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% over the next five years. Due to a convergence of factors, including demographics, national government policy, rising wait times for primary care service providers, overrun emergency rooms, and a search for cost-effective delivery methods for medical services, urgent care centers are becoming a go-to resource for more Americans than ever.
The growth of the urgent care market is driven heavily by consumer demand for convenient access to care and the ability to avoid costly emergency department visits when possible. Per industry data, both the number of urgent care centers and the volume of services provided there have increased quickly over the past decade. Current industry factors point to a continuation of this growth.
Beyond offering shorter wait times than emergency rooms and broader availability (nights and weekends) than primary care providers, the proliferation of urgent care is reducing healthcare costs nationwide by relieving the strain on emergency departments, particularly in regard to Medicaid enrollees and the uninsured.
Investing in urgent care means improving access to care and reducing healthcare costs, especially among patient populations that are more vulnerable to access barriers, be they financial or geographic.
URGENT CARE TRENDS
Urgent care centers bridge the gap between emergency rooms and primary provider offices by specializing in a range of care. Most centers offer additional services such as X-rays and minor trauma treatments not available in general practitioners’ offices, thus offering an integrated solution of primary and low-level emergency care.
Consumer demand for convenience has reached an all-time high, particularly among younger generations. Per a 2019 Harmony Healthcare IT survey, nearly 25% of millennials haven’t visited a primary care physician (PCP) in five years or more, with about one-third saying that getting a physical just isn’t convenient. For this reason alone, more and more younger patients are opting for urgent care centers that offer walk-in appointments for real-time needs, including COVID testing and episodic health issues.
Urgent care market size has increased steadily over the past decade, with the number of centers around the country now reaching over 9,000. As patients continue to prioritize convenience and affordability, the industry continues to innovate and expand by leveraging technology, new services, and evidence-based medicine including telemedicine, physical therapy, occupational medicine, and more.
In the age of COVID-19, telemedicine can increase healthcare access for patients across the country, particularly in underserved or remote communities. Telemedicine services can also help alleviate crowded emergency rooms while reducing the impact of physician shortages nationwide.
Urgent care centers are creating competition with traditional hospital and physician practice settings by offering a range of services at a fraction of the price, drawing savvy entrepreneurs to invest in this essential and recession-resistant sector.
STEP INTO THE FUTURE WITH AFC
With increasing demand and advancements in technology, there has never been a better time to open an urgent care center with a world-class franchise brand. American Family Care (AFC) has been at the forefront of the healthcare industry since 1982, with over 250 centers operating or in development across 27 states.
AFC is dedicated to providing the best possible care to all the communities we serve, while offering franchisees the opportunity to partner with one of the most trusted names in the urgent healthcare industry.
To learn more about franchising with AFC, apply now.