Trend: Urgent care clinic industry expanding again

It's beginning to look like convenient care is on the rise--and not just in the retail clinic sector. While the retail clinic market expansion has gotten most of the attention, the urgent care industry is seeing some new growth as well.  Recent estimates suggest that the volume of U.S. urgent care clinics has gone from a steady decline to a growth rate of about two clinics a week. While the growth in retail clinics is likely to outstrip that by a considerable margin, it's still worth noting for an industry which had stalled throughout the 90s.

Observers note that the growth in urgent care centers compliments, rather than competes with, emerging retail clinics. While urgent care centers see a slightly more acute patient, treating conditions like fractures and sprains, lacerations and abdominal illnesses, retail clinics typically limit themselves to low-complexity treatments for conditions such as strep throat and bladder infections. Retail clinics are actually beginning to refer to urgent care centers, in fact, according to urgent care administrators.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Triangle Business Journal item

Related Articles:
Resource center: Retail clinics. Special section
AMA demands retail clinic regs, backs off ban request. Report
MA doctors protest CVS retail clinic expansion. Report
Doctors push law regulating retail clinics. Report
Retail clinics: thousands on the way? Analysis

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