Urgent care is booming with business as millions of patients visit urgent care clinics every year. Statistics show that 19% of US citizens have accessed an urgent care center in the past year. Factors that have contributed to this growth include convenience, patient demand, cost, and better work-life balance for physicians.
So, what was the beginning of urgent care clinics?
The first urgent care business model was implemented in 1970 by emergency medicine physicians. Their idea was to provide immediate care without compromising the qualification of the doctors. It began by delivering necessary treatment for cold, flu, and aches. But, the urgent care business, continues to evolve, leading to a broader range of services. Today, you get treated for rashes, STDs, sprains, bites, burns, and other minor issues.
Urgent care clinics continue to grow, and there is no defined end to these facilities. If you combine their cost-effectiveness and timely care, it is clear the sector is set to grow further.
Are you planning to start an urgent care business?
When it comes to starting an urgent care business, you need to ask questions that will benefit both your business and patients. So, which are these questions?
1. Do The Facility Take Insurance?
Medical services are costly, even with insurance coverage. But, urgent care profit margin is minimal, and that's why they're cost-effective. Nonetheless, patients avoid unexpected bills and would prefer the use of insurance. So, ensure your facility accommodates many insurance providers.
2. How Much Does It Cost?
The question becomes important when deciding on urgent care start-up cost and the cost you’ll charge the patients. Therefore, choosing a convenient location where rent is moderate, results in fair charging of your patients.
3. Is The Care Facility Integrated With Primary Hospitals?
It's advisable to start urgent care business that is a sub of a big hospital. Why? The urgent care clinic is meant to reach patients conveniently. But, the patients had their primary doctors before you even started your business. This does not mean you can’t be independent, but, incorporating medical history from the primary doctor of the patient is wise.
4. What Are the Services You’ll Provide?
Do you have an on-site laboratory and pharmacy? It’s essential to install and equip labs and pharmacies. Urgent care business is supposed to cover convenience; therefore, don’t send your patient to get lab test services elsewhere.
5. Who Is Your Target? Are You Targeting Numbers Or Patients?
Besides having all the requirements a medical facility needs, use the whole patient approach. Don't treat the patient like an item or a number. Take your time with the patient and don't rush to treat them anyhow. You need to assure your patients that your facility is the best. Care about patients’ health and not the money they’ll bring next time they visit because you didn’t treat them well in the first encounter.
6. Have You Hired Enough Medical Practitioners?
It's essential to have enough doctors so that patients don't take long waiting in agony. If patients realize you have enough doctors, they’re assured of personalized treatment, and therefore, they are confident about your facility.
Health is the most important gift you can give your community. Therefore, besides looking out for urgent care start-up cost, strive to provide the best medical practice.
A 2018 report found that there are more than 2,800 retail medical clinics in the United States, which represents a significant increase in urgent care centers. However, not all of these new urgent care facilities are recording profits. Urgent care profit margins are dependent on several factors that have to be considered carefully as the market gets more crowded. Here are some of the strategies that you need to follow when starting urgent care business so that you can have a high urgent care profit margin.
1. A Rock Solid Urgent Care Business Plan
An urgent care business plan is one of the primary factors that you need to observe before starting an urgent care center. The success of the facility depends on how well this strategy has been planned and executed. However, the execution process will always be wrong if the planning process was incomplete. You need to plan every aspect of the urgent care clinic, including the urgent care marketing strategies that you will be executing.
2. Ownership Model
Any business has an ownership model or structure that highlights the percentage of the business that is owned by various parties. You can decide that your business will specifically be owned by you, which means that you will be the sole decision maker, and you will provide the capital to the entire clinic. However, you can join hands with a local hospital and use some of the resources of the hospital. The ownership model you choose is very important because it affects your urgent care profit margin.
3. Operational Location
The location of an urgent care startup is also critical. It plays a major role in determining whether the business will be successful or not. The idea is to locate the business in a region that has a very high population so that the clinic can get a considerable number of customers. The planning face should include a very comprehensive plan of ensuring that the clinic has been located in a prime area. You do not only consider the population in a particular region but also other medical facilities. You cannot position your medical facility in an area of other facilities.
4. Services to Offer
Your urgent care clinic can be a general service medical facility or a specialist facility. It all depends on the services that you think will attract a large number of clients. However, understanding the medical trends of any community is necessary for deciding what your urgent care center will be offering. Urgent care consultants can be beneficial when deciding on the services you will be offering. Most of the consultants have been in the industry for a longer period, and they know what works and what does not work in a particular community.
5. Hire Consultants
Urgent care consulting is an important aspect that you should follow when you are starting a medical clinic. You might be a medical specialist, but you don't have the know-how on how to start a business. Consulting industrial expert is a necessity that you cannot ignore. You need to get information from people who have already been in the urgent care business. Some important details that you should consider checking to include the urgent care profit margin. That will inform you whether you need to start this business or not. Although the actual motive of starting urgent care facilities is to offer services, getting some profit is vital.
6. Incorporate Technology
After undertaking all the necessary business plans and getting sufficient information from industry experts, you need to get the right technology to run your business. Other urgent care facilities in your region might have the same skills and expertise in running urgent cares and helping clients. Incorporating advanced technology will give you a cutting edge over your competitors.
Starting an urgent care facility is similar to starting a salon, restaurant, and moving services, among others. Most of the factors to be checked are similar, but there are specific details that need to be observed before starting an urgent care facility. These details are key to success. You need to run from consultants and successful urgent care operators before starting your facility.
Intuitive Health is one of the most progressive retail healthcare companies in the US.