7 Things to Know About Urgent Care Centers

7 Things to Know About Urgent Care Centers

Urgent Care centers aren't new.  Some locations outdate physician practices in their markets.  But these walk-in care clinics offering imaging and a wide range of services are earning more attention now then they had in the past, as healthcare looks for ways to meet the needs of rising health care costs and consumers seeking convenience.  Kalorama covers the market for urgent care centers in its report, The U.S. Market for Urgent Care Centers, which can be found at: http://www.kaloramainformation.com/Urgent-Care-Centers-10590063/.

These centers are staffed with physicians, offer walk-in service in a free-standing building or as part of a retail mall location.  Kalorama notes the following trends:

They're growing - The number of urgent care center locations has risen strongly, standing at 9,800 locations, up from 9,000 in 2011.

Consumers Love The Hours - A key driver of patient visits to urgent care centers is their hours, which are designed to be attractive to workers. UCCs are open seven days each week, 13 hours on average and require no appointment. Hours are not universal, but most open at 8 or 8:30 and most close 7pm or later, with 41% open until 9 or later.

Booming Patient Volume - Kalorama estimates that the average urgent care center in 2016 saw 294 patients per week!

They're Successful - UCC sales have risen from about $11.8 billion in 2011 to more than $15 billion in 2017.

But Not Every Location - as some locations open, others close (though not as many). Not all centers are at optimal traffic; some centers are in suboptimal locations and newer centers often experience a "ramp up" period while sales are building.

Achoo! - Through 2021, Cold/Flu/Sore Throat will continue to represent the greatest single source of UCC revenue, followed closely by treatment of lacerations and wounds, and fractures and sprains. These three categories comprise half of all UCC visits.

Suppliers are Watching - sales of medical products and equipment to UCCs are strong. In 2016, combined sales of in vitro diagnostics (IVD), vaccines and imaging equipment reached $598 million last year.