PARTNERING WITH URGENT CARE TO STRENGTHEN NON-ACUTE FACILITIES
Urgent care centers are typically much less expensive than an emergency room visit, even for the same procedure. The average ER visit can cost between $1,200 and $1,300, while the average urgent care cost is between $100 and $200, according to American Family Care.
Non-acute providers can work with urgent cares to grow their business and attract new patients. “Health systems understandably want in on the action, but rather than make a go at creating urgent care clinics themselves, oftentimes the best strategy—from a financial and strategic perspective—is to partner with the ones that already exist,” according to an article by Healthcare Finance.
The article points out that these partnerships require a contribution of capital, and in return, the health system is able to leverage the expertise of urgent care centers, including their staff. Adding an urgent care clinic can also help enhance the health system’s brand and reputation by making care more convenient for patients.
“For health systems that have successfully established urgent care partnerships, the results have been satisfying from a dollars-and-cents perspective,” Healthcare Finance notes.
The notion of urgent care partnering with a larger network is not new. A 2017 article from PatientBond advised, “In order to stand out from the crowd, small and mid-sized UCCs [urgent care clinics] should market themselves to both payers and providers in order to become part of a network.”