Ten years later: The urgent care trend.

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January 31, 2024- by Steven E. Greer, MD

It was 10-years ago that I was on the forefront of the “urgent care” trend. There were very few privately-owned ER’s at the time. Anyone needing care had to wait many hours at an ER located inside of a larger hospital.

I saw the opportunity to create a better option. I thought people should be able to bypass that misery of the hospital ER and be seen rapidly, paying in cash if they desired.

I was shopping for locations in lower Manhattan where I lived. I found a spot by the federal courts and FBI buildings because that is where the people with the good insurance were located. The crash of 2008 was in recent memory and the people who seemed unscathed were the government workers.

I was all set to open an urgent care location of about 3,000 square-feet on Duane Street. However, the deal never happened. An Ohio ER doctor was going to help me, but he backed out.

My location ended up opening anyway, but without me. I was glad that happened because, quickly, these urgent care centers started to fail. There were too many of them. They were all poorly managed. The quality of care was hit or miss. They were also engaging and insurance scams.

Nevertheless, as we all know, this urgent care concept exploded. It was such a disruption to the corrupt large hospital chains that they simply bought most of the urgent care chains.

“MD Now” is a national chain. It has locations everywhere you can imagine in Florida. It is now owned by the for-profit HCA hospital chain.

America still has the problem of people being unable to get quality care without going through insurance or a large hospital chain. The solution still needs to be pure-cash-payment centers run by real doctors.

There are a few of these clinics starting to open up. In Florida, a hospital shut down by COVID was purchased by doctors to be a cash-pay hospital. In Oklahoma, people can get orthopedic surgery with cash.

The influx of millions of immigrants let in across the Southern Border will stress the current paradigm to the point of breaking. Look for major changes soon.

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