A changing healthcare landscape in the United States has patients, medical care providers, and insurance companies seeking new solutions for healthcare. Urgent care franchises seem to be providing these solutions with longer hours, qualified doctors and nurses providing care, and competitive pricing that doesn’t break the bank.
Becoming an urgent care franchise owner allows you to tap into this exciting industry. Before you invest, take some time to learn about urgent care and some frequently asked questions about the industry’s growth and potential.
Is Urgent Care Expected to Grow?
The urgent care industry is becoming increasingly popular and showing signs of growth. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, or UCAOA, there are 7,100 urgent care clinics in the United States. In a survey by the same organization, it was found that a whopping 87% of urgent care owners expanded their businesses with another location in 2014. Even better, 91% of survey respondents expected to grow even more in 2015.
How Much Money Does the Urgent Care Industry Generate?
Experts are projecting that the entire urgent care industry will be worth more than $18 billion by the end of 2017. With industry growth expected to be 5.8% each year from 2016-2018, you can see that urgent care franchises have a lot of potential.
What is Fueling Urgent Care Industry Growth?
Between 1994 and 2004, the number of emergency rooms across the United States decreased by 9%. During that same period, one million more people visited emergency rooms each year. This lead to over-saturation of emergency rooms and long wait times, which left patients and medical caregivers looking for a new way to treat non-emergency illnesses after regular business hours.
What Is a Good Location for an Urgent Care Franchise?
Most (82%) urgent care centers are in suburban areas, and their prevalence is increasing as fewer clinics locate in rural and urban areas. The UCAOA’s industry survey found that shopping centers/strip malls are the most common place to place an urgent care, followed by freestanding buildings, medical offices, and then mixed-use buildings.
How Many Patients Can I Expect to Come in a Week?
Research done in 2012 found that urgent care centers treated an average of 357 patients every week, which adds up to more than 160 million visits to all urgent care centers over a year. A survey found that, in 2015, 89% of urgent care respondents saw patient visits increase.
What Kind of Rules and Regulations Are There on the Industry?
The law specifically states that only doctors may practice medicine, not corporations. However, in most states, there is no requirement that doctors directly own urgent care clinics, meaning that a franchisee can own the urgent care and employ doctors to practice medicine. Urgent care clinics are bound by the same rules as any other business practicing medicine—business license, medical license, necessary equipment registration, etc.
In addition, urgent care is not a specialty according to the American Board of Medical Specialties, which means that urgent care physicians are not required to certify. However, there are exams available—most notably through the American Board of Physician Specialties—that make a doctor more qualified to work in urgent care.
Now that you have learned a bit about the urgent care franchise industry, you can see how investing in urgent care is a smart business decision. American Family Care is one of the biggest urgent care franchises in the nation, and we have the resources and support that franchise owners need to build strong businesses. Learn about the American Family Care franchise opportunity.