The fragmented vendor landscape of the global urgent care centers market has bestowed it a highly competitive environment. However, the pace of growth exhibited by the market has potential to decrease the competitive rivalry in the coming years, states Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study. Furthermore, low exit barriers in the market allow players not making profit with substantial opportunities to leave. This has made the market gain even more traction in the last few years. Despite the prevailing competition, companies such as Express Healthcare LLC, AFC/Doctors Express, MD Now, Concentra Inc., MedExpress, and FastMed Urgent Care have managed to carve a niche for the products and services they offer.
TMR has projected the global urgent care centers (UCC) market to exhibit a CAGR of 3.8% between 2014 and 2020. Rising at this pace, the market is forecast to reach US$30.6 bn by the end of 2020 from a valuation of US$23.6 bn in 2013. In terms of service, the illness segment dominated the market in 2013, however during the aforementioned forecast period, the diagnostic segment is likely to report the highest CAGR of 7.3%. Regionally, Asia Pacific is forecast to exhibit a CAGR 5.7% between 2014 and 2020, which is higher than other regional markets.
Demand for Cost-effective and Patient-oriented Medical Care to Support Growth
Growth witnessed by the global urgent care centers market over the last few years has been a result of the introduction of cost-effective medical care. “The UCC market is a diverse field driven by the urgent care models designed by pioneering leaders to cater to the rising demand for patient-driven and cost-effective care,” said a lead TMR analyst. Urgent care centers primarily provide treatment to patients with minor injuries and illnesses requiring immediate care, but not serious enough to visit the emergency department (ED).
As Waiting Time of EDs Get Longer, Patients are Likely to Get Directed towards UCCs
The demand for UCC services has significantly risen over the last decade, as the waiting time for appointment with EDs got longer. With the increasing incidence of chronic ailments, same-day access for sick care also got difficult. “As UCCs are distinctly positioned in healthcare systems to provide the large number of patients with immediate care and unscheduled appointments, they have managed to attract a large pool of patients,” observed the TMR report’s author.
Furthermore, the market is expected to gain impetus with the expanding health insurance coverage. In countries such as the U.S. services offered by UCCs are already covered within insurance, due to which patients are more likely to seek UCC over an ED or other hospital settings. Besides this, the rising investment in the development and to fund the proliferation of UCCs will augur well for the global urgent care centers market.
High Initial Invest Required for Establishing UCCs Could Hamper Growth
On the contrary, the high cost incurred in the establishment of new UCCs hinders the market’s growth to an extent. The highly fragmented vendor landscape of the market could create a bottleneck in the development and progress of the market since it requires high initial investment. The persistent shortage of skilled physicians also puts limit to the growth of the global urgent care centers market. According to a recently published finding by UCAOA, the U.S. was forecast to witness a deficit of more than 60,000 physicians by the end of 2015. This is expected to have a restraining effect on the North America UCC market.
Unexplored Opportunities across Undeserved Markets in US to Prove Lucrative
The novel UCC delivery models have witnessed significant growth in the U.S. in the last couple of years. The country presently boasts over 9000 urgent care centers. Growth witnessed by the UCC market in the U.S. has mainly occurred in the Sunbelt and Midwestern belt. However, the trend is slated to change as entrepreneurs and hospitals find opportunities across historically undeserved locales. Additionally, with insurance companies starting to recognize urgent care cost-savings in the healthcare delivery systems, the future of the global UCC market looks promising.
This review is based on information published by TMR in a report, titled “Urgent Care Centers Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020.”
The report segments the global urgent care centers market as:
Urgent Care Centers Market, by Services
Urgent Care Centers Market, by Geography
- North America
- Rest of the World (RoW)
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