For most participants, this is a great industry to be part of right now. But it’s not as simple as it used to be. There are some emerging complexities to this industry that are going to make things a little trickier going forward.
Some of the major urgent care players are for sale and the outcomes will certainly influence valuations. Partnerships abound in both the retail clinic and urgent care sectors. For some, however, the benefits of those partnerships will come into question during 2015. Telehealth and queue management systems are ready for prime time, but how they are deployed can potentially disrupt a smooth operation. The payer landscape is changing, with high-deductible health plans becoming widespread, insurance companies entering the market as direct competitors and hospital billing going by the wayside. And don’t hold your breath, but it looks like consumers are starting to view retail clinics and urgent care clinics in very different ways, creating both opportunities and risks for marketing departments.
All of these factors will influence the performance of virtually every walk-in operator in 2015, making strategic planning more of a challenge this year.