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From Crain's Health Pulse - A Look Back at the 2010s: The Rise of Urgent Care

Author: UCA Admin/Friday, December 20, 2019/Categories: Industry News

(from author Jonathan LaMantia, Crain's Health Pulse 12/18/19 edition)

A look back at the 2010s: The rise of urgent care

As the decade draws to a close, Health Pulse revisits some of the top stories that defined health care in the New York metro area during the 2010s.

In 2010 Dr. Richard Park started CityMD in a single location on the Upper East Side. The urgent-care chain now has more than 100 locations in New York, New Jersey and Washington state.

By 2017, when CityMD had 68 locations, the company sold a majority stake to private-equity firm Warburg Pincus for an undisclosed sum that reportedly valued the chain at $600 million.

This summer it announced it would merge with Summit Medical Group, joining forces with the more than 800-doctor New Jersey practice.

CityMD has faced ample competition, particularly from the joint venture between Northwell Health and private equity–backed GoHealth, which now has 52 locations, from Westchester to the Hamptons. It's also faced criticism about whether easy-to-access care would drive up utilization and drive fragmentation in the industry.

But more than the sheer scale of its footprint, CityMD and its competitors have changed the way a generation of patients thinks about getting immediate care. The area's major health systems all have looked to make on-demand treatment more available through partnerships with urgent-care chains and by taking more appointments on nights and weekends.

Patient choices are no longer confined to scheduling the next available doctor's appointment or heading to the emergency room.

"When you need the doctor, that's when you can't see the doctor. We fill that gap. We're here when you need us. We're ready, waiting," Park told Crain's in 2012.

Those choices are growing broader by the day. The past decade saw the rise of Teladoc and other telemedicine companies, which was kicked off in part when Aetna began offering the service to customers in 2011. New York–Presbyterian has gotten into the act too with a suite of on-demand services. CVS is pushing to increase the health services it provides following its acquisition of Aetna.

For patient care in the 2020s, convenience will continue to be king. —J.L.


View the full edition on the Crain's website (subscription may be required)



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