Susan Wynne of The Wellynn Group has co-authored an article for the Journal of Lancaster General Hospital on recent trends in urgent care demand and use. Susan contributed to the article in her former role as senior vice president for Business Development at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Urgent care facilities have grown quickly in the United States, and today more than 7,500 urgent care centers across the country account for about $30 billion in annual healthcare spending.
Although some markets are already oversaturated, others continue to see expansion in urgent care providers. The article examines demographic trends nationally and regionally (focusing on Lancaster, PA) noting a strong level of preference and use among those under the age of 45. The key drivers for urgent care demand are: access, convenience and price transparency. Key factors that drive customer selection are: physician referral (when a patient’s regular doctor’s office is closed); affiliation with a reputable health system; and the connectivity of the urgent care provider’s electronic health record with the patient’s “home” health system.