Urgent care facilities have completely changed the face of the American healthcare system. According to statistics from IBIS World, in the five-year period between 2009 and 2014, the market for urgent care services grew by an estimated 8.2%. Whereas before many people, both in the medical industry and outside, believed that urgent medical care was a fad, the industry is now worth approximately $16 billion. In other words, urgent care is here to stay.
One of the main drivers behind the success of advanced urgent care centers is cost. As The New York Daily News writes, the average patient will save $600 on the same procedure by going to an urgent care facility instead of their local ER. To further the point, a study in Health Affairs shows that if the 27% of Americans who go to ERs for non-life-threatening conditions instead went to an urgent care facility, the United States economy would save $4.4 billion a year.
How Can Urgent Care Centers Afford to Offer Lower Prices?
- It’s All About Bulk
- Streamlined Infrastructure
- No Need to Hold Patients for Days, Weeks, or Months
Your urgent care facility operates on the principle of savings through bulk. Most urgent care centers see a steady stream of patients, meaning they’re constantly going through medications and other first aid supplies. This allows them to buy goods at bulk, greatly reducing their overhead costs. This, in turn, is passed on to you, the consumer.
Unlike most hospitals that have a board, a long list of executives, and other people who all want a cut of the profits, urgent care facilities operate on bare bones crews. You’ll see a receptionist, a few doctors, and just enough nurses at your local urgent care facility, but you’ll never find an urgent care center hiring more people than it needs. This is one of the biggest tricks to keeping costs low.
One of the biggest costs to hospitals is having to house patients for days, weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of their condition. This means paying for utility bills, food, and personal services, all of which drive hospital costs way up. When patients’ conditions are serious enough to warrant being admitted, urgent care centers send them to hospitals, avoiding huge costs and helping you do the same.
Have you used your local urgent care facility? Tell us about how your price for services stacked up against your local ER’s in the comments below! Research more like this: doctorsexpressenglewood.com