(USA Today) Overcrowded ERs help urgent care sites thrive

Across the U.S., an estimated 3million patients visit these centers each week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America, a trade group based in Chicago. To meet demand, the number of facilities has increased from 8,000 in 2008 to more than 9,200 this year, the association said. About 600 urgent centers opened this year.

Fueling that rise are two longstanding trends — crowded emergency rooms and a lack of primary care doctors. Urgent care operators say another factor is helping to propel business: the drive to lower costs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

2 comments on “(USA Today) Overcrowded ERs help urgent care sites thrive

  1. Teatime2 says:

    The walk-in clinics where I live are excellent. One group is owned by a doctor and another pair are run by the diagnostic center. They’re open on weekends and evenings, have pleasant facilities and excellent staff. It’s always faster than the ER but, oftentimes, you can get in and out in less than an hour.

  2. BlueOntario says:

    All well and good for the people willing to take care of themselves. But until the public stops using 9-1-1 and ambulances as a taxi service for non-emergency medical care the EDs and hospitals will continue to be full. I don’t think urgent care centers will ever be allowed or allow themselves to get into the patient transportation (an ambulance, by any other name) business. And for protocol, insurance, and legal risk management issues, I don’t see ambulances being allowed to transport patients to urgent care facilities any time soon.