Report: U.S. urgent care center market reaches $15B


ROCKVILLE, Md. — U.S. Urgent Care Centers are “now an established segment of the U.S. healthcare industry,” reaching a $15 billion market in 2016, according to new research released by Kalorama Information.

Kalorama estimates that the average urgent care center in 2016 saw 294 patients per week and about 15,300 patients throughout the year (Some of which may be multiple visits from the same patients). The research company added patient volume will continue to expand through 2021 to about 300 patients per week, with revenue per UCC increasing to almost $1.7 million.

“Most of the urgent care center market is related to cold flu and throat will continue to represent the greatest single source of UCC revenue, followed closely by treatment of lacerations and wounds, and fractures and sprains,” said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. These three categories comprise half of all UCC visits; UCC sales have risen from about $11.8 billion in 2011 to more than $15 billion in 2017. This represents growth of about 4.1% per year. Gains have been driven by an expanding need for services, as shown in high growth of visits, at 2.7% per year, outpacing growth of new clinic openings, at 1.7% per year. The competitive landscape of the urgent care market is extremely dynamic, with a growing number of players and rapidly shifting positions. As of the end of 2016, Concentra, U.S. Healthworks, American Family Care and MedExpress are the largest brands, but no brand is particularly large, according to the report.

A major selling point of urgent care centers are convenient hours, Kalorama stated. “Most urgent cares have hours as early as 7 am and up to 8 pm at night. By comparison, only 31% of primary care doctors have after-hours coverage. High visibility and adequate parking is part of their business model, thus centers are usually located in freestanding buildings, though they can be located in strip malls and in some cases they are within a hospital complex with a separate entrance. About half of centers are in freestanding buildings, the rest in strip malls or other attached building structures. The average UCC is between 3,500 square feet and 12,000 square feet. The variation is based on common practice and the extent of services offered,” the report stated.

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