Young adults more likely to turn to urgent care centers instead of primary care physicians

Adults under the age of 30 are more than twice as likely not to have a primary care physician as their older counterparts, according to a new report by Vitals, a healthcare information website. The trend points to the increased use of alternative care facilities, such as retail health clinics and urgent care centers, with 41 percent of people aged 18-29 indicating they used urgent care centers to address health concerns. "Urgent care centers are growing because they are convenient and provide easy access to medical care and services," said Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals. "We expect their popularity to grow as health reform increases the strain on an already tight doctor supply of primary care physicians and people turn to alternatives for timely, affordable care." The notion that urgent care visits were acceptable alternatives to a physician or hospital visit spanned across all age groups, but only one-quarter of respondents said they returned to the urgent care center for follow-up care. Announcement