The way we receive health care in the United States is changing at a rapid pace. If you haven’t already noticed, urgent care facilities are popping up all over your town. So what makes urgent care different from your normal doctor’s office? The answer is convenience. No appointment is necessary to see a doctor. Any time you’re feeling ill you can come in and get checked out. These health care facilities offer a wide range of hours to choose from and they are generally open on the weekends. The location of these buildings are not hard to find. They have been placed next to major businesses and roads. The well-rounded Doctors can treat just about everything. For example, there is no need to look up a dermatologist for a skin issue anymore. Most dermatologist are booked ahead for weeks. By the time you get to see your doctor the condition may have gone away or worsened. If you are visiting an urgent care facility you could be treated very quickly.
The recent urgent care sensation is on the rise and will continue to grow in the next few years. Brian Solomon, writer for Forbes, claims that the “$16 billion industry” could follow the “Golden Arches-Style Model.” This could “make M.D.s wielding stethoscopes as accessible as baristas at Starbucks.” What is the “Golden Arches –style model?” You may have guessed it already… the business model that McDonalds and the fast food industry created. The idea is that a big brand could create franchise stores to be put on every street. In the future you could be looking at competing franchises in close quarters. Choosing your doctor’s office could become like choosing between fast food and pharmacies. Right now the largest franchise chain belongs to Humana. They own Concentra Urgent Care which has 330 clinics.
These clinics are great for convenience, but sometimes that doesn’t beat having a reliable family doctor. Depending on the situation, you should choose whether or not to visit an urgent care facility. Time is always a factor in our lives, so changing the way we receive health care can make our lives easier.
By: Peter Amos
Follow me on Twitter : @petehimself21
Solomon, Brian. “Drive-Thru Health Care: How McDonald’s Inspired An Urgent Care Gold Rush.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 02 July 2014. Web. 04 July 2014.