If you operate in the medical industry, then you've probably noticed that urgent care centers are becoming more popular in all kinds of communities. With a wide range of services and financial models, it's no wonder that more people are favoring a visit to an urgent care center as opposed to their primary care physician. Whether you recently attended an urgent care conference, or if you're just interested in learning a bit more about this medical trend, here are some of the top reasons urgent care facilities are becoming more popular in today's world.
As discussed in any urgent care conference, perhaps the primary advantage of an urgent care center is the convenience that they bring to any given community. When patients feel that they can receive a range of different medical services under one roof, they are far more likely to feel a positive association with the center itself. Because of their flexible, adaptable nature, urgent care clinics are a top choice among people who have family members who may need to be treated for a variety of symptoms. Unlike the single-focused nature of a physician's office, an urgent care center makes for a comfortable environment for all kinds of different patients.
Consumers of all kinds are drawn into urgent care centers because they often offer prices that are far more preferable to those found in traditional medical environments. At an urgent care clinic, a patient can be seen and treated without having to worry about the exorbitant costs that are so often found in today's hospitals, physician's offices, and traditional clinics. At a retail clinic, the average cost of treatments is approximately 30% to 40% less than at a physician's office. This means that the urgent care business is poised for even larger growth in the coming years.
Whether you have visited an urgent care conference, or if you're just intrigued in taking advantage of some of the unique benefits of an urgent care business model, then get in touch with a member of our team today. At Intuitive Health, we are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of starting an urgent care clinic. Whether you're concerned about urgent care start-up costs, or continuous duties associated with this model, we would love to help you get started on your journey toward offering more convenient, cost-effective care for patients of all kinds.
The recent upsurge in popularity of urgent care clinics is undeniable. In fact, it has been reported that nearly 20% of all households visited an urgent care center in the last year. A key topic at an urgent care conference may be an examination of how to start a profitable urgent care business. Here are some factors that would be needed.
An urgent care center marketing strategy is critical in providing a good solid foundation for any successful urgent care business. An analysis of urgent care start-up costs, in conjunction with estimated profits, must be conducted. And a solid marketing plan needs to be devised, along with the creation of a realistic budget.
The billing process in an urgent care center can be handled in a few different ways. One option, the in-house option, is called Practice Management, or PM for short. Training of the staff is required to do billing with the PM process. Another option is to outsource the billing process and have another company complete the billing process for the urgent care center.
Obviously, it is impossible to run an urgent care clinic without a staff. But overstaffing can create a drain on finances. It must be avoided. Instead, it is better to start out with a smaller staff where the employees are familiar with the process throughout the clinic. Not only will this save overhead, but it will also deepen the employee's perspective and understanding of how the urgent care functions.
Consider what other areas of treatment will be offered. It will be important to determine how treatments offered in your urgent care will differentiate you from other urgent cares in your general vicinity. Will you be offering cosmetic procedures? Weight loss options? Allergy treatments? What will you be able to offer that will set your urgent care apart from others?
This is absolutely the most important topic necessary to discuss before opening an urgent care startup, and it would be a topic of great interest at an urgent care conference. There are many factors to consider, and much research would need to be done before deciding where the best location would be for the clinic.
With a value of $1.4 billion in 2016, the US retail medical market is a highly profitable area for investors. And if that were not attractive enough, through the year 2025 there is also an estimated compound growth rate 20%.
Imagine financial experts, medical professionals, and business and marketing specialists all attending an urgent care conference. Not only would they be holding a discussion about the profitable nature of the urgent care business, but they would probably all be encouraged that health care was becoming more accessible to the public because of the increase in urgent care clinics.
Retail clinics and urgent care centers have a lot in common as they both accommodate walk-ins and require no prior booking arrangements. However, a retail clinic addresses less complicated illnesses and are staffed by a nurse practitioner and physician assistants. The demand for convenient and immediate health care facilities has led to an increase of retail medical clinics opened in the United States. They have grown by 14 times over the past decade.
An urgent care center comes in handy for patients who do not require an emergency room visit and cannot wait for regular business hours. As of 2014, the Urgent Care Association of America strongly suggested that 83% of urgent care centers experienced growth.
Investing in an urgent care clinic is a great way to offer patients professional medical help at low costs. Here are helpful tips on how to start an urgent care clinic.
Draw up a Formal Business Plan
Starting up any business requires extensive research and planning. Particularly when looking to venture in the urgent care business, writing a business plan that incorporates the size and equipment needed will be a great place to start.
This will give you an estimate on urgent care startup costs. With a rough idea on the estimated budget, it is easy to get funding from investors and well-wishers. The business plan should also outline the urgent care center marketing strategy, staffing requirements, and location.
Choose Location Wisely
Urgent care centers are a crucial part of the healthcare system as they strive to manage patients volume, and deliver after-hours ambulatory care. For the facility to work at an optimum level, it needs to be situated at a standalone building or pad site.
If you are wondering how to start an urgent care clinic, select a site far from other similar medical facilities. Also, look out for high traffic areas with high visibility and ample parking. Places with at least a population of 30,000 people are good places to set up profitable urgent care business.
Hire Adequate Medical Staff
One of the most important steps of an urgent care start up is hiring efficient and qualified staff. Advertise for job openings, conduct interviews, and offer training where necessary. A physician, X-ray tech, accountant, and office administrator are just some of the urgent care center consultants you need to hire.
The staff roles will directly affect the daily operations of the business. You can use a staffing ratio to determine whether you have adequate personnel. The typical ratio is 0.75 staff members per average number of patients per hour. This value is rounded up, so if you have four patients per hour, three staff members are required.
Advertise Your Business
A key influence on how to start up an urgent care center is marketing effectively. Print out brochures, fliers, and posters about your business. You could also put out an advertisement in your local newspaper.
An easier marketing strategy for urgent care centers is through social media. It is relatively cheaper and encompasses a wider range of the target audience. You could enlist the services provided, opening hours, and insurers accepted.
Consult People Already in the Business
If you are uncertain about how to start an urgent care clinic, it is best to talk to a fellow entrepreneur. This way you will know exactly what you are getting into in terms of urgent care profit margin, and overall business growth.
A business mentor will advise on your urgent care start up checklist and tell you what to cut back or add. Familiarize yourself with the operations of an urgent care clinic from someone with experience.
Reducing wait time and offering a wide range of services will build client influx. Have a viable plan on how to start an urgent care clinic and work on its execution. Deploy up to date technology in your urgent care center, to facilitate quality medical care.
Between 2000 and 2016, the number of walk-in medical facilities has grown by more than 2,000 centers. Trends from the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that this number will continue to grow in the coming years. Therefore, if you start an urgent care business, you need to have an urgent care center marketing strategy that will position your urgent care clinic over other facilities in your region.
Urgent care business consulting is an important undertaking because it helps you to understand some important marketing strategies for urgent care centers. Some tricks about urgent care marketing plans that you can learn through consulting have been discussed below:
1. Amplify Patient Experience
Amplifying patient experience is an urgent care center marketing strategy that involves paying attention to each and every service the patients are receiving. By listening to the patients’ complaints and improving the overall care experience, you will be able to outperform other walk-in facilities in your region. To improve patient experience, you need to create a welcoming environment in your clinic; that includes friendly staff, neutral décor, and positive feelings around the facility.
2. Promote Referral Program
Like any other medical facility, your urgent care startup needs to create a strong base of returning patients. With returning patients, you will be able to build a customer base that can sustain your business in the long term. Asking your returning patients to refer you to their neighbors, families, and friends is a potential urgent care center marketing strategy that will not cost you anything. You can also focus on proper online referral marketing strategies, especially through e-flyers, newsletters, and blogs.
3. Partner with Local Businesses
Another urgent care center marketing strategy you can incorporate is partnering with other businesses to get third party referrals. Most of the local businesses see a lot of customers in a day who are likely to listen to them. Any word of mouth coming from trusted sources can build strong commercial leads and result in loyal customers. You don't want your urgent care startup to operate in isolation. You have to create a symbiosis relationship with other businesses in the same region for mutual benefits.
4. Reach Your Community
Just like you are reaching out to local businesses for customers, you need to reach out to your community, as well. As a community service provider, you want them to feel your presence, which is the only way you will achieve success. One of the ways you can reach your community is by sponsoring local events and providing free first aid services or any other medical need. Conducting free medical screening is another way through which you can reach your community.
5. Increase Local Media Outreach
Increasing local media outreach is a profound urgent care center marketing strategy that you should incorporate. Trends show that most of the walk-in facilities have focused too much on their online presence and ignoring local media. Besides digital marketing, you need to befriend local media editors and influencers. Having medical ideas and life experiences featured in the local dailies will create a buzz for your urgent care facility.
If you want to learn more about strengthening your health center's marketing strategy, give Intuitive Health a call right away.
Intuitive Health is one of the most progressive retail healthcare companies in the US.