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A History of Urgent Care, and How it Became a Booming Industry

urgent care businesses history

Urgent care is an industry that has been around for decades but has recently gained popularity. This is due to its ability to deliver convenient medical assistance to people in a more efficient way than a traditional hospital.

The Emergency Room Paradox

Emergency rooms most often will be found riddled with injured and ill patients at all hours of the day. This has made urgent care businesses and franchises much more necessary to accommodate the need for quick and trustworthy medical care. Urgent care offices are faster and more convenient for patients, which has contributed to the rapid growth and increase in opportunities in the industry. In fact, a growing number of emergency room visits are being deemed unnecessary. A 2009 study reported that up to 29 percent of all emergency department visits were unnecessary and could be handled in an urgent or primary care setting, while just a few years later, updated studies reported that number had grown to over 71 percent, with some reporting even higher percentages.

This growing realization of unnecessary ER visits has been coupled with declining availability of medical care: Per the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, “In a ten-year span, from 1994 to 2004, the number of hospitals and emergency rooms decreased by 9 percent, while emergency room visits increased by more than one million visits a year.”

In other words, more people were visiting emergency rooms while the number of emergency rooms was declining. Add this to the common inconvenience of primary care medical offices, mostly due to lack of after-hours care, and you’ve got the perfect storm for an urgent care boom: People need care at convenient times, don’t want to be stuck for hours in an ER, and more and more data shows that many of their ailments can be treated in a much more timely and cost-effective manner. Patients just needed a medical facility that would provide such service – and they got it with the booming growth of urgent care.

Patients can save about $4.4 billion per year by opting for urgent care facilities over a trip to the ER, and when they do, they’re choosing urgent care centers like American Family Care (AFC) to assist them. Why? Because of the brand name and high quality of patient care that they’ve come to expect and know they can trust.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities Instead of a Hospital

As the demand for more urgent care facilities increases, franchise opportunities have increased as well. However, when looking for the right franchise in the urgent care industry, it is important to do the research. With multiple opportunities out there, certain qualities to look for in an urgent care franchise are: a trusted brand name and reputation, quick high-quality care, proper training, support from corporate, and a compassionate approach to patient care. Established urgent care providers such as AFC have created a unique approach to serving people in need of immediate medical assistance, and have shared those best practices with our family of franchisees.

Franchising with AFC means a turn-key business model to fit your needs as a franchise owner, and training and guidance throughout the journey to make sure you are set up for success. We have an excellent training program that is geared specifically toward urgent care and running a franchise, followed by ongoing, 24/7 support for any questions you may have.

Location, Location, Location for Urgent Care Businesses

We have developed a list of territories derived from complex site-selection models to ensure our franchisees have a leg-up on the competition and a real chance to thrive in their designated location. These territories are strategically located in places where there is a higher projected need for urgent care and a low amount of competition, among various other factors.

Ready to take your journey to the next level and learn more about franchising with American Family Care? Contact us today to speak with a representative!


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