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20 Things to Know About Urgent Care | 2016

Posted By Becker's Hospital , Monday, February 15, 2016

As healthcare shifts toward the outpatient arena, urgent care centers remain popular with patients and consumers looking to receive convenient and affordable treatment for minor conditions, imaging and blood tests.

Highlighted below are 20 facts and statistics to know about the urgent care market.

1. There are nearly 7,100 urgent care centers in the U.S., according to the most updated number from the Urgent Care Association of America. Included in this number are urgent care centers verified manually by UCAOA and provide full-service urgent care medicine (X-ray, lab, extended hours). There is no other national database, since federal registration is not required. 

2. Eighty-nine percent of urgent care centers said patient visits increased in 2014, the survey found.

3. The survey also found most (87 percent) urgent care centers acquired or built a new location in 2014, and 91 percent anticipated growth in 2015.

4. According to the UCAOA 2015 Benchmarking Survey, the most common urgent care center locations include:

  • Shopping centers/strip malls (34.1 percent)
  • Freestanding buildings (33.2 percent)
  • Mixed-use buildings (13.6 percent)
  • Medical offices (19.1 percent)

5. One average, current urgent care clinics have been in operation for seven years.

6. Urgent care clinics average seven exam/treatment rooms.

7. At most urgent care centers (90 percent), the wait time to see a provider is 30 minutes or less, and total patient throughput is 60 minutes or less at 84 percent of urgent care centers.

8. Nearly all urgent care centers (96 percent) operate seven days a week and are open at least 4 hours per day, according to the UCAOA 2015 benchmarking survey.

9. Eighty-seven percent of urgent care centers provide urgent or episodic care exclusively, whereas 13 percent provide urgent and ongoing primary care or specialty urgent care.

10. More than half (66 percent) of urgent care patients have an outside primary care physician.

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