The healthcare space might be traditionally dominated by hospitals and emergency rooms, but that’s slowly changing. Private healthcare alternatives are on the rise, for both minor and major ailments and injuries. It’s common practice to go to the emergency room, but that is no longer the best viable option. ER’s have high co-pays and long waits, and sometimes you just can’t afford either. Urgent care facilities, however, are more efficient and affordable, and play a vital role in helping decongest crowded emergency rooms. Patients have been slowly realizing this, and it’s why the urgent care industry is on the rise. Here are a few reasons to be confident in our industry heading into 2019.
A Thriving Industry
The first step in determining if a franchise investment is right for you is researching the industry, and educating yourself on that industry’s projected future. While nothing can be foretold for certain, the healthcare industry’s strength and growth is encouraging, and has been on a steady uptick for years. Since their inception in the 1970s, urgent care clinics have now reached over 10,000 locations, and revenue per clinic is expected to reach around $1.7 million by 2020. Private healthcare is in a strong position, as they are more easily able to forge relationships with patients, and foster trust in the brand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs were projected to grow nearly 20% from 2014-2024, and since they’re on pace to do just that, you’ll never find yourself with a lack of labor options.
The ER Alternative
According to a 2009 study, up to 29% of all emergency room visits were unnecessary, and could instead be handled by an urgent care clinic. Updated studies claimed that number had risen to over 71%. Unless patients have a truly life-threatening injury or ailment, an emergency room visit is truly more expensive and less convenient than an urgent care clinic. Check out this list for a more thorough account of what can be treated by urgent care clinics vs. when you should actually visit an emergency room.
Filling the Market Gap
Americans’ impatience with emergency rooms is quickly growing. It’s not secret that for years, emergency rooms have been crippled by long lines and slow service. There are simply too many people visiting the ER, and not enough space to accommodate them. That’s where the urgent care industry comes in. Urgent care alleviates the strain on emergency rooms, unclogging waiting rooms and providing quick service to patients in need. The convenience and low cost of urgent care clinics make us a convenient, affordable alternative to the ER. Entrepreneurial doctors, healthcare professionals, and business people have not failed to capitalize on the gap in the market. This is why revenue in the urgent care industry is expected to reach over $30 billion by 2020, at a growth rate of 3.8%.
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