care is the delivery of ambulatory care in a facility dedicated
to the delivery of unscheduled, walk-in care outside of a
hospital emergency department.
initial urgent care centers opened in the 1970s. Since then
this sector of the healthcare industry has rapidly expanded to
over 17,000 centers.
these urgent care centers have been started by entrepreneurial
physicians who have responded to the public need for convenient
access to unscheduled medical care.
centers have been opened by hospital systems, seeking to
attract patients. Much of the growth of these centers has been
fueled by the significant savings that urgent care centers
provide over the care in a hospital emergency
managed care organizations now encourage their patients to
utilize the urgent care option.