The ongoing growth of urgent care, among other trends, is at least partially responsible for an increasing scarcity of traditional primary care physicians, according to analysis of new data posted to Advisory Board.
The Urgent Care Association of America (“UCAOA”) and the Emergency Department Practice Management Association (“EDPMA”) are collaborating to improve care for patients in need of acute medical care. Additionally, UCAOA and EDPMA will work together to support the essential role urgent care centers and emergency departments play in healthcare delivery continuum.
It may be premature to call it a trend, but stories of urgent care operators taking their services directly to patients continue to pop up around the country. It’s becoming a more appealing prospect to payers, too. Most recently, Mercy Care Plan granted its members access to DispatchHealth in the Phoeniz, AZ metropolitan area. The service allows patients who may be too ill or frail to travel to the emergency room or an urgent care center to stay home while a provider comes to them.
Over 1.8 million emergency room visits related to a diagnosis of eczema took place between 2006 and 2012, costing patients hours of waiting and their insurance providers millions of dollars. What’s more, the trend indicates the number will continue to rise. The question is, why? The likely answer—besides the fact that it takes forever to secure an appointment with a dermatologist—is that too many people are unfamiliar with the full capabilities of their closest urgent care center.