The modern healthcare industry is a vast one, and it is also quite varied. Most Americans think of a hospital’s ER when they think of healthcare, but in fact, many patients today re visiting urgent care centers in particular for help. A few thousand of these clinics can be found across the United States today, and this is a recent but rapidly growing business. Today’s entrepreneurs in the medical field may consult an urgent care business model, and while some urgent care business models may vary, these urgent care business models will at least all cover some basic common concepts. An urgent care start up will need funding, advertising, staff, wholesale suppliers, and more. What does it cost to start an urgent care clinic?
Urgent Care Clinics as a Business
Urgent care centers, or walk in clinics, got their start somewhere around the year 2000, and the idea rapidly expanded from there. From 2000 to the year 2016, over 2,000 walk in clinics were built across the United States, and more are being built all the time. By 2018, that number had swelled to 2,800 retail medical clinics in particular, with the first being built in Minnesota in 2000. In the year 2016, this market was valued at $1.4 billion or so, and it has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% through the year 2025. In fact, by 2018, there were 14 times more retail medical clinics than there were in 2008. But what about starting a new one? These clinics are typically small and independent, but all the same, an urgent care business model is necessary, and this work may involve many steps. But there are some common, basic aspects to this effort that can be considered, at the very least.
Launching an Urgent Care Center
How to start? The entrepreneur may first consider where they will even put this urgent care center. Cities are densely populated and have many potential guests, though this also means having competition nearby. A city may have many urgent care clinics in it, after all. Another route is to build one in a rural community that doesn’t yet have one, which the local residents may greatly appreciate. Many rural Americans have to travel far for medical care, but a local clinic may ease that pressure. What is more, these clinics can be built into nearly anything. Many are built into strip malls, convenient since strip malls are common and the stores there are easy for passing drivers or pedestrians to see (and get parking for). Other walk in clinics are built into retailers such as Target or Walmart, which often feature a pharmacy for shoppers to visit. Some walk in clinics are built into hospitals, though they offer distinct care from the hospital itself.
After a location is chosen, the entrepreneur may also hire remodelers or construction crews to fabricate and set up the premises, which is an entire topic on its own. Meanwhile, the entrepreneur will also need to hire staff and set up relations with local medical wholesale suppliers, and that means taking out loans. Most businesses today get started with loans to cover expenses like these, but big banks are often reluctant to approve loans to them. Instead, businesses often turn to specialized lenders who have fair but more relaxed requirements for getting a loan. This includes lenders who help fund new medical care sites such as urgent care clinics or dental practices. The borrower may have better odds of securing a loan for their new urgent care center if they have good personal credit and business credit (which are two different things). The lender may also have better luck if they do not have a history of bankruptcy or being delinquent on loan repayments.
The entrepreneur will also, with money on hand, hire staff, mainly physicians and nurse practitioners. Also, that medical clinic will get its supplies from local medical wholesalers, why may deliver anything from cotton swabs and needles to gauze rolls and an autoclave. The new walk in clinic will also need advertising efforts, such as renting out ad space online for citizens to see. The clinic will also have a sign over its doors, and it may get a social media account to reach out to more people.