10 Statistics on Urgent Care Centers

The Urgent Care Association of America reports the following 10 statistics about urgent care centers, based on surveys it sponsored in 2010.

1. Number of urgent care centers. There were about 8,700 
centers by the summer of 2010. In comparison, there were 4,600 hospital EDs in 2008, according to AHA Trendwatch.

2. Growth in number of centers. About 330 centers were launched from 2008-2009 and 304 from 2009-2010. There has been a 5 percent increase in the number of centers that are less than two years old.

3. Size of multi-site systems. Multi-site systems of urgent care centers have an average of 8.99 centers each.

4. Increase in patient visits. The average number of visits per week increased to 342 in 2010. In addition, 86 percent of centers are expecting volume to increase in the next 12 months.

5. Reimbursement. The average reimbursement per visit increased by 14.71 percent, suggesting payors are recognizing the value of urgent care.

6. Patient wait times. Surveyed centers reported 57 percent of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen and about 80 percent of all visits are 60 minutes or less.

7. Time in operation. The survey shows 53 percent of centers had been in operation more than five years; 26 percent 3-5 years; 12 percent 1-2 years; and 9 percent less than one year.

8. Type of ownership. Half of centers are owned by physicians; 27.9 percent by hospitals; 13.5 percent by corporations; 7.7 percent by non-physician individuals; and 1.0 percent by franchises.

9. Use of IT systems. More than 90 percent of centers use computerized practice management systems and two-thirds use computerized systems for clinical processes.

10. Types of Providers. Almost two-thirds of centers use a mix of physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants, and at least one physician is on-site at all times at 65 of centers.

Read findings of the association's June-August 2010 survey on urgent care centers.

Read more coverage on the growth of urgent care centers and retail clinics:

- U.S. Retail Clinics Expected to Double by 2015, Could Partner With Health Systems

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