Trends in Urgent Care Medicine
If you think you’ve seen more urgent care clinics in your area than ever, it’s not your imagination. In recent years, urgent care medicine has seen a dramatic surge in popularity. According to Consumer Reports, the number of urgent care centers increased from 6,400 in 2014 to 8,100 in 2018, and that number is only expected to rise.
Affordability and convenience are two of the biggest factors behind this trend. People are looking for a less expensive alternative to hospitals, and urgent care facilities can save patients money. In fact, a study by the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that, on average, treatment at an urgent care clinic is about one-tenth the cost of ER treatment. Urgent care centers also treat many of the same ailments that ERs do, including wounds, sprains, and fractures, as well as provide services like X-rays and blood tests. It’s been estimated that urgent care clinics handle about 29% of the nation’s primary care visits and nearly 15% of all outpatient physician visits, annually. And a 2018 report by the Urgent Care Association found that 70% of patients waited less than 20 minutes to see an urgent care provider, and, overall, 85% were seen in under an hour.
With this growing demand for convenient, cost-effective urgent care comes increased competition. To distinguish themselves and show that they are the best choice for treatment, more facilities are choosing to hire physicians who are board certified in urgent care medicine. Throughout the nation, board certification has long been a trusted indicator of a physician’s abilities to deliver safe, effective medical care, and qualified physicians who are certified in urgent care medicine have demonstrated through rigorous certification testing that they are experts in their specialty. Having a board-certified physician on staff, an urgent care clinic essentially declares to prospective patients that they should expect nothing less than stellar care at that clinic.
The Board of Certification in Urgent Care Medicine® (BCUCM) is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), which is the only multi-specialty certifying body that offers board certification in urgent care. To earn certification through the BCUCM, physicians must meet strict eligibility requirements and pass exams vetted with industry-recognized psychometric criteria. Not surprisingly, BCUCM Diplomates are considered some of the nation’s most accomplished medical professionals and are uniquely positioned to practice urgent care medicine at the highest level. That BCUCM Diplomates must also adhere to the ABPS Medical Code of Ethics means that they can bring prestige and authority to any urgent care facility.
To learn more about the BCUCM and why hiring a highly skilled BCUCM Diplomate can help your facility effectively market itself, contact the ABPS today.