The global urgent care centers (UCCs) market has several private companies operating urgent care chains in the market such as AFC/Doctors Express, FastMed Urgent Care, MD Now, Concentra Inc., CareSpot Express Healthcare LLC, MedExpress, MinuteClinic LLC, NextCare Urgent Care, Pateint First and U.S. HealthWorks Inc. Also, a large number of small market players are trying to enter and establish in the urgent care centers market. This has resulted in a highly fragmented market for UCCs industry with large number of urgent care chains accounting for less than 1% of the total market. Moreover, many private insurance firms are also becoming attracted towards the UCCs market.
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Cost Effective Visits and Faster Service Maintain UCCs on the Growth Front
Urgent care centers provide immediate care services to patients with minor injuries. The service time and quality of health care services in a UCC are better than that in an emergency department (ED). Additionally, the fee per visit paid by a patient, whether with health insurance or not, in UCCs is much lower than the fee paid in EDs. These advantages of UCCs over EDs are expected to increase the number of visits to UCCs, thus driving the growth of the global urgent care centers (UCCs) market.
Moreover, appointment flexibility provided by UCCs coupled with reduced waiting time has increased their popularity amongst patients. A surge in the population of insured people is also driving the urgent care centers market. The considerably low cost of treatment is attracting a large pool of insured patients. Furthermore, the growth of UCCs is backed by many private and public investors, thus increasing the pace of growth of urgent care centers exponentially.
Unavailability of Physicians Likely to Harm Visits to Urgent Care Centers
Continued shortages in the number of physicians are likely to limit the growth of the market and it will worsen in the next few years according to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) survey report. This can adversely affect the growth of the UCCs market. However, the effect of this restraint could be alleviated with physician assistants and nursing practitioners compensating this deficiency to some extent.
Another impediment to the growth of the UCCs market is the high initial cost required for the set-up of the urgent care centers. Apart from the establishment costs, a large number of patient visits per week are required to meet the huge operational costs of UCCs.
North America Leads With a Substantial Margin Owing to High Adoption Rate of UCCs
By geography, the global UGCs market is segmented into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). North America, which was the leading segment by value in 2013, is anticipated to retain its leadership with a share of 73.6% in 2020. Europe, which stands second, is expected to lose its share by the end of 2020 due to lack of interest shown by private investors.
In terms of services, illness is the leading segment by revenue and is anticipated to remain the largest segment until 2020. However, screening services represent the fastest growing segment.
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, ‘Urgent Care Centers Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020.’
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