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New Survey Reinforces Millennial Impact On Urgent Care Market

June 2, 2016
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In honor of Urgent Care Awareness month, a new survey has been released that breaks down what people are looking for when it comes to wait times and patient care. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone paying attention that urgent care centers are particularly popular among Millennial-aged demographics. The model of walk in medical clinics inherently lend themselves to the fast-paced, always on the go lifestyle more and more young adults commonly subscribe to. Still, it’s always interesting to see theories backed up by statistical evidence.

According to the Daily Herald, one recent example of this can be found in a recent survey from the Urgent Care Association of America. Among the survey’s findings is the prevailing thought that Millennials favor affordability, availability, and convenience while the older Baby Boomers look more for quality/experience of physicians and patient care.

“During Urgent Care Awareness Month, we wanted to gain insight into the health care decision-making process for all generations to better understand what is important to different types of patients,” said Steve Sellars, MBA and UCAOA President. “We learned the majority of respondents understand their health care options, but affordability, quality and convenience are main determinants of where they seek their health care treatments.”

According to the survey, approximately 34% of respondents over the age of 65 prioritize the health care professional they see compared to just 19% of people 18 to 34. The cost of health care is an important factor for 27% of the younger generation while only seven percent of those over 65 thought so. Having an onsite physician was the most important thing for 21% of people over the age of 45, compared to being that for just seven percent of those who are 18 to 34.

“Prioritization on cost and convenience among younger patients is one of the reasons that the number of urgent care centers continues to grow,” Sellars said.

There are over 6,800 urgent care centers in the U.S. that treat an estimated 3 million people every week collectively. It’s clear the younger generation prefers them because of their affordability and convenience, but what more and more visitors are realizing is that the level of patient care is arguably equal to a traditional primary care physician in most cases.

The Rand Corporation estimated in 2010 that one in five hospital/ER trips could be treated at an urgent care facility, which could provide $4.4 billion in annual savings. This is one situation where it might be time for the older folks to learn from their younger offspring.