NAPERVILLE, Ill., Dec. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Urgent care centers across the country experienced a surge of growth this past year, with a large majority nationwide (more than 80 percent) reporting expansion in 2013 to accommodate increased patient base and needs, according to the Urgent Care Association of America's (UCAOA) latest study. The UCAOA's 2014 Benchmarking Study includes information from its members on numerous industry topics and is the nation's most comprehensive study available for the urgent care industry.
"Urgent care is growing across the country because it provides patients a much needed option for acute illnesses or injuries that aren't life-threatening," said Dr. Nathan Newman, President of the UCAOA Board of Directors. "Urgent care serves as a bridge between the emergency room and primary care physician clinical services, and demand is rapidly increasing due to the convenient hours that fit today's patients' busy schedules, as well as the affordable, high-quality care offered."
Ideal for common illnesses and non-life threatening episodic events, such as flu, colds, urinary tract infections, sprains and minor broken bones, urgent care is continuing to grow in different ways to meet consumers' needs. In fact, many urgent care centers expect to see an increase in patient visits in the upcoming year, and 60 percent reported rapidly increasing services, including adding more locations, equipment, office space and hours of operation.
"The 2014 Benchmarking Survey noted that more than 80 percent of urgent care centers reported offering walk-in, after-hours and weekend access so patients can seek healthcare services from quality providers at the times most convenient for them," said Dr. Newman.
Other interesting findings to note in this year's survey include the following:
- Most urgent care centers provide a wait time of 30 minutes or less to see a provider and 60 minutes or less for an entire patient visit.
- Nearly half of all visits to urgent care centers result in an average charge of less than $150 – compared to the average cost of an ER visit at $1,354 (Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2011).
The full 2014 Benchmarking Survey, which addresses other industry topics including differences in urgent care centers by region, characteristics of urgent care centers based on types of ownership and various revenue correlations, is available for purchase on the UCAOA website here. More information about the UCAOA can be found at http://www.ucaoa.org.
About the Urgent Care Association of America
The Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) is a membership association for urgent care health and management professionals, clinics and those who support the urgent care industry. UCAOA provides educational programs in clinical care and practice management, has a monthly Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and maintains an active online presence and member community for daily exchange of best practices. UCAOA provides leadership, education and resources for the successful practice of urgent care for its members. For more information visit www.ucaoa.org.
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SOURCE Urgent Care Association of America