The very first walk-in urgent care clinic opened in Minnesota in 2000. By 2016, there were 2,000 such facilities operating in the United States. It’s estimated that by the end of the year there will be 14 times more urgent care startups than there were ten years ago. Urgent care businesses fill a community need, can be profitable, and the market for them is growing by the minute. But what does it cost to start an urgent care clinic?
Community Benefits of Urgent Care
Among the most significant benefits of urgent care centers are services for patients lacking insurance, and shorter wait times. A quarter of those choosing urgent care clinics for emergent health issues claimed shorter wait times as the reason. Shorter wait times in urgent care centers can be attributed to less severe injuries and illnesses at intake, as well as limited traffic.
What Does it Cost to Start an Urgent Care Clinic?
There are a number of factors to be considered in order to arrive at useful figures. Real estate transactions -- variables between owning and leasing space are significant -- are an estimable factor. The location of the clinic and how that location will impact operating and property costs are significant factors, as well. Also to be considered as you explore what does it cost to start an urgent care clinic is the projected size of the clinic you will operate. What does it cost to start an urgent care clinic? It costs to research and plan, as well as develop a sound and savvy urgent care business model. Read on for more information about aggregating the many variables in order to achieve an answer to the question 'What does it cost to start an urgent care clinic?'
Your Real Estate Transaction
You will likely have already done the planning and research that is necessary, but the importance of understanding the kind of real estate transaction you plan to make for your urgent care startup can’t be overstated. Will you lease an extant space, purchase an existing property, or build a new structure? Make sure you're taking everything into consideration throughout the entire transaction.
The Location of Your Urgent Care Clinic
Many potential areas will have zoning, taxation, and other benefits, but they might not be in markets that will serve your urgent care marketing strategy best. There is a great deal of work and research involved in determining the best location for your urgent care clinic. Be sure you are doing your homework on the potential markets as well as the regulations, building codes, necessary licenses and permits, and insurance requirements of those markets. Also, make sure all these factors will work to yield a profitable urgent care business.
The Size of Your Urgent Care Center
Keep in mind that the average square footage for an urgent care clinic is around 3,000. That’s a good guideline as you prepare rough estimates, but it will be necessary to plan a size that will accommodate the business you expect to generate and the range of services you will offer relative to your urgent care center marketing strategy. Will you offer urgent care, limiting space that may otherwise be occupied by a laboratory, therapy, and other common services? Or will you offer a full suite of medical and rehabilitative services, requiring a great deal more space?
The Average CostIt’s important to know and plan as much as you can as you prepare to launch your urgent care startup, and to be aware that your cost may vary widely from precedents and averages. But there are some figures to take into consideration: the average cost to launch an urgent care clinic is between $840,000 and $1.6 million.
"What does it cost to start an urgent care clinic" has no static answer. With careful planning, research, and solid business methods, you can learn exactly what it will cost for your urgent care venture.
The number of available U.S. retail medical clinics is 14 times higher than there was a decade ago. The marketplace has become greatly competitive, which creates challenges for an urgent care clinic with a tight marketing budget. However, there are cost-effective things you can do to increase consumer awareness about your facility. Here are three free digital tips for boosting your urgent care marketing plan.
Optimize Your Website
Is your website user-friendly? Many consumers pull up the information they need by using their smartphone. Therefore, your website needs to feature a mobile responsive design. If your website is hard to navigate, it will create a negative perception about your business and the customer will look elsewhere for the services they need.
Optimize your content to be easy to read on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Ensure that your website loads up fast. If it takes more than three seconds to pop up, your page speed is too low and potential customers will abandon your site. Having your website optimized for mobile can provide a major positive boost in your urgent care marketing plan.
Get On Google Maps
When it comes to implementing an urgent care center marketing strategy, the majority of facilities do it on their own instead of hiring experts because their budgets are tight. As a result, they may be unaware of how to establish a strong local digital presence with Google’s local pack. If your urgent care business isn’t showing up in the Google Map local listings, you’re losing out on potential revenue.
The local pack consists of the first three listings in Google search when a person looks for the term “urgent care near me.” Being in those spots makes it more likely that a person will consider your services for their medical needs. In order to get there, you will need to create a Google My Business profile. Make sure to select urgent care center under Categories and include your facility’s phone number, hours of operation, address, and a brief description of your services.
Healthcare Video Marketing
Online videos have a much greater organic reach in search engine rankings than text pages. Plus, many consumers are turning to videos to get the information they need online. If your business doesn’t already incorporate videos, you need to start making investments in this area right away.
Create a welcome video on your website so that first-time visitors can learn more about your business and its history. Include profiles of your physicians as well as treatment and procedure overviews to help calm people’s nerves about having to seek medical treatment. Provide educational videos on common medical conditions and get patient reviews on camera. These things can provide a pleasant experience for your customers as well as building an authoritative and trustworthy presence in your local community.
These three free tips are just the tip of the iceberg for ways to boost your urgent care marketing plan.
The number one focus of any business is profit. In order to grow, a business needs to maintain and increase a positive cash flow in order to meet its financial responsibilities and objectives. How does an urgent care center continue to be profitable in a market that has become increasingly competitive? In the U.S., the retail medical market size in 2016 was marked with a valuation of $1.4 billion and expected to have a 20% compound annual growth rate through 2025. Here are four ways that your urgent care center business can increase revenue and meet your financial goals.
Revenue Cycle Management Improvement
Revenue cycle management is critical for an urgent care center’s profit margin. However, it is highly challenging because of the many factors involved. The first thing you need to do make sure you’ve hired and trained the right person at the front desk. This role is crucial for checking and verifying active insurance coverage in order to determine the patient’s financial responsibility from the beginning. The more money you can collect upfront at the time of the visit, the less energy and time will be spent later on in the billing process.
Accurate coding is another key factor in improving revenue cycle management. Poor documentation can lead to either revenue loss or an audit being initiated. It can also lead to increased insurance claim resubmissions. Also, follow up as quickly as possible on all denied or delayed claims. Resolving unpaid claims can provide a much-needed boost to your bottom line.
Leverage Healthcare System Technology
Utilizing modern technology effectively can have a positive impact on your urgent care profit margin. Make your urgent care clinic more accessible by offering online appointment scheduling for new and existing patients. You can also send out a quick text-based survey to the patient after a visit to determine overall satisfaction and keep patients who may be considering other alternatives. This can also show patients you care about them and want to build a lasting relationship with them. Offer electronic fund transfers to speed up a bill payment.
Stay Open Longer
You can increase revenue simply by keeping your business doors open longer. The reason urgent care exists in the first place is to fill the need for patients who need care when traditional healthcare systems close their doors for the day. By opening up earlier, closing earlier, and providing weekend and holiday hours, you will be ready for these patients and be more profitable.
Consolidate StaffingHaving the right number of staff can make a big difference to your revenue profits but it can be a tricky situation to navigate. You can figure this out by taking a look at your visit volumes from week to week and compare peak times versus slow times. Look for any patterns to help you make decisions regarding coverage. You can also look at volume year by year and try to spot any seasonal trends. Hire and retain staff who are flexible in working on a short schedule.
Running a profitable urgent care business takes hard work and dedication in today’s highly competitive marketplace. By following these four ways to increase revenue, you can grow and expand to serve more patients. With little thought and planning, you'll stand up above the competition and be recognized by the community you serve as the place for them for their medical needs.
If your neighborhood demographic is typical, it’s likely that you’ve seen dozens of urgent care startups over the past few years. The once rare urgent care center has become nearly ubiquitous in and around U.S. cities over the past 19 years. The very first urgent care startup opened its doors in Minnesota in 2000; as of 2018, there were nearly 3,000 urgent care businesses open throughout the country. Nearly 20% of U.S. families reported using an urgent care clinic in the last year. Those numbers are likely to increase in the following year as new urgent care startups emerge and their convenience, quality, and availability become better known.
While a great deal of business directed toward urgent care centers is for minor illnesses, injuries, and ailments, or to expedite seeing a doctor for preexisting or emergent conditions, there are other services available about which the clientele of your urgent care startup may be unaware and find very convenient.
Families grow accustomed to the perennial physical examinations that clear their children for sports and other school or community activities. It is widely assumed that these examinations require contacting the family physician, making appointments weeks or even months in advance, and then juggling schedules to accommodate the appointments. Not to mention copays and deductibles. But your urgent care startup can be a convenient answer for them: it is common for urgent care centers to perform preparticipation examinations for walk-in clients. No scheduling weeks ahead, no wonky and inconvenient times, no shoehorning between soccer practice and dance class: clients in your community can simply walk into your urgent care startup when they have time for a physical examination (and a reasonable wait). Be sure that promoting this highly convenient service is part of the urgent care marketing plan for your urgent care startup.
Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections
Many urgent care clinics offer this vital service. Some clients -- especially adult children living at home, or minors depending on privacy laws in your area -- may be less comfortable visiting the family physician or medical practice if they suspect that they’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or infection. For others, haste may be an issue, as it’s important to begin treatment for such infections as early as possible but that's not always an option when scheduling with a primary care physician’s practice. Also, some of these kinds of infections can remain latent for long periods of time, presenting no noticeable symptoms, although they are contagious. So the ability to visit an urgent care clinic at any time for regular testing is important not just to your clientele, but also to public health.
Injuries Requiring Extended Care
Many among your clientele will consider visiting an urgent care clinic to confirm a non-invasive injury is just that: a sprain, a strain, arthritis, a severe contusion. For lacerations and clear or suspected minor fractures, however, they may believe they need to seek care elsewhere, which isn’t so. Your urgent care startup can treat fractures, perform x-ray scans, set bones, splint, cast, and much more. Urgent care clinics can also apply stitches to lacerations, and remove them. And time-sensitive minor procedures such as cast and stitch removal can be done on your clients’ schedules. Promoting this convenience should definitely be on your urgent care startup checklist.
Your Urgent Care StartupUrgent care clinics are becoming big parts of communities. They are important to public health and to peace of mind. They help your clientele to stretch their health care budgets and keep their lives full and their families healthy. Be sure that they are informed about these three valuable services that your urgent care startup can offer.
With the growing number of retail clinics, it’s hard to imagine that the first-ever walk-in facility in the US was conceived in the year 2000, at Twin Cities, Minnesota. By 2016, there were more than 2,000 facilities in different states within the country.
This number continues to grow, and by 2020 it will have doubled. But why do most professionals prefer working in profitable urgent care businesses? Well, read on to get more insight into why medical professionals like working in retail clinics.
They Have a Variety of Job OpportunitiesUrgent care business models incorporate different medical professionals who work together to restore healthcare. As such, it easier to find jobs at retail clinics due to their impressive growth.
Any professional will always look for job consistency. That’s the reason why most medics would prefer to work in mushrooming profitable urgent care businesses that guarantee consistent workflow throughout the year.
If you are the one who loves offering services to different people with greater responsibility, then retail clinics are the best working stations that you should go for. Why? At urgent care clinics, professionals have great autonomy in making decisions that affect different stakeholders. As a result, the professionals working at such stations should have a high level of trust and responsibility.
In most instances, the professionals work alone with the sole responsibility of making sober decisions that don’t affect the urgent care business negatively. However, if you are an individual who thrives well in a team-work focused work environment, then it might be challenging to fit in such medical care setups.
Flexible Working Schedules
The beauty of urgent care clinics is that they offer different scheduling options. For instance, medical professionals who work in grocery medical stores are likely to operate when the store is open. Most grocery stores operate from 7 AM to 10 PM. Therefore, it’s easier for medical experts to create schedules that match the opening periods of the store.
Besides, retail clinics are the best for those who prefer working during the weekends or night shifts. Thus, retail clinics offer the best and flexible working schedules for medical professionals.
Another advantage of profitable urgent care businesses is that medical practitioners can work at different stations depending on their schedule. Most of the time, the shifts are designed in a way that enables medical practitioners to attend different patients from various work stations. This also has an advantage in that; you can generate more revenue depending on your work ethic.
The idea of working consistently can sometimes be tiring. However, if you have a passion for attending to patients’ needs, then working in a retail clinic is the best option. The amazing work flexibility plays a huge role in ensuring that clients get the best medical services.
Enhances Personal Bonding with Patients
Unlike an emergency room where most medical practitioners only see most of their patients once, in retail clinics, they get to work closely with the patients. However, this is only possible if the medical practitioners have a consistent work schedule that their patients find convenient.
Developing a personal relationship with patients enables them to open up to medical practitioners. As a result, they can quickly diagnose the diseases that patients are suffering from. A good patient-doctor relationship enhances a smooth treatment process that is filled with honesty and sincerity.
Running a profitable urgent care business can be quite challenging at first. However, with time, you’ll get to know how to handle different patients.
For the success of any retail clinic, professionalism must be observed in the treatment program and customer care department. Patients will always visit urgent care clinics that offer them exceptional services.
Numerous urgent care centers come up from time to time, so, any slight mistake might result in being thrown out of the competitive health business. It is always advisable to seek the advice of other urgent care consultants before making any crucial decision. Benchmarking with other professionals, enables you to understand the marketing strategies for urgent care centers.
The demands for urgent care are growing steadily. Retail medical clinics in 2018 were 14 times higher in number than 10 years ago. Urgent care center staffing is critical in meeting this demand. Hiring and maintaining a cohesive team will ensure visitors will have a positive experience and choose your facility for their future healthcare needs. Whether you have an urgent care startup or flourishing business, the staff you choose will be a major factor in your future success. Here are five vital tips for staffing a successful urgent care center.
Conduct Thorough Background ChecksAny employee you hire should have a clean background. Performing thorough background checks can save you from potential legal headaches later on. Follow up on references. Make sure that all necessary paperwork is properly completed. You also need to make sure that all relevant state and federal medical requirements are followed in the hiring process.
Create Clear Job Descriptions and Employment PoliciesStaff should clearly know what is to be expected from them. Job descriptions should clearly state all the duties they are required to perform at the urgent care clinic. Go over these duties during the interview or orientation to make sure the new employee understands them. Employment policies should hold them accountable for these tasks. These policies need to be consistently enforced. Having the appropriate policies in place can reduce the impact of medical malpractice or other legal issues.
Provide Proper TrainingAll new employees should receive proper training before being allowed to see any patients. Staff should be able to clearly understand how the electronic medical records system and the company’s internal processes work. Offer specific training to keep up with any changing medical requirements. Foster educational growth with seminars and conferences.
Implement Burnout SupportBurnout is a leading cause of turnover with medical facilities because employees are typically on-call or working weekends and holidays. You can minimize burnout by having the proper staff to patient ratios. Consider offering counseling services at your urgent care center to employees. You can also offer flexible scheduling to employees in order to foster a proper work and life balance.
Reward Staff Who Go Above The Call of DutyEncourage your staff to provide a top-level positive experience for patients. Staff who feel valued will work and try harder. Provide an environment where staffers are encouraged to express ideas for improvement. Offer incentives to staff to perform at levels beyond normal expectations. The vibes of happy staff will spread to your patients as well.
The staff you hire reflects who you are as an urgent care business to the people it serves. Hiring and maintaining the right people is critical to your success. Take your time in selecting the right candidates. Provide the training they need and foster their growth. By following these tips, you will have a profitable urgent care business that people will flock to in their time of need.
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.