After 13-year-old Anthony Bowman broke his arm playing basketball, his mom thought Urgent Care was the obvious choice. Mrs. Bowman didn’t even consider taking her son to an emergency room, because she felt that they would be waiting too long for him to be treated at a hospital. She felt that urgent care is more convenient, not just because of the waiting times, but the cost is more affordable and the location is closer to their home.

Many US residents feel the same way as Mrs. Bowman. At urgent care facilities, patients are treated quickly and the cost is affordable. This is why US revenue is expected to top $15 billion this year from urgent care clinics.

Significant Urgent Care Growth

Over the last ten years, the market for urgent care has grown significantly. Investors, hospitals and entrepreneurial physicians have all joined urgent care clinics expecting handsome profits.

Dr. Tom Hadley, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for US Health Works stated, “Many in the industry anticipate a wave of consolidation across the highly fragmented urgent-care market in coming years, with far more emphasis on building identifiable brands that time-pressed consumers will trust.”

Alan Ayers, a board member of the Urgent Care Association of America, explained that most clinics work independently of each other, and that the system will need to be integrated in the future. He currently works for the Urgent Care Concentra, which is owned by the insurance company Humana. Ayers expects more hospitals to enter the private market in the upcoming years.

Recent Resurgence

In 2012, Hometown Urgent Care moved from Dayton to Columbus. Around the same time, Kumar and other companies were sold to Ridgemont Equity Partners. In March, Kumar bought the company back and is now the largest urgent care company in Ohio, with 20 clinics. Their revenue is expected to reach $18 million this year.

Kumar stated, “Competition is far more intense than it was five years ago. Profit margins for urgent-care businesses are lower than in the past but remain strong, often in the range of 15 to 25 percent.”

Instead of opening new locations, many urgent cares are looking for acquisitions. OhioHealth gained control of Polaris Urgent Care earlier this month, making it their eighth location.

Hospitals consider urgent care clinics as a way to bring patients to their facility. If a patient needs surgery, they will have to get sent to a nearby hospital.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been expanding their urgent care services. Recently, they added a location in Marysville, and in 2013, the hospital had 126,086 urgent care visits. However, the hospital is competing for pediatric patients. About 20 percent of urgent care patients are children.

Patty McClimon, Senior Vice President of Strategic and Facilities Planning at Nationwide Children’s Hospital stated, “We see any child regardless of ability to pay. We are not going to look first at your wallet and second at your child.”

With the increase of Urgent Cares in the US, it is important you are getting quality treatment. The doctors at Las Vegas Urgent Care provide treatment for any acute or non-urgent medical problems. For more information about health care in Las Vegas, contact 702.852.2000.

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