Emergency Care Services and Urgent Care Services

This comprehensive report explores how the lack of access to timely medical care is driving the emergence of new health care delivery models.

Overview

Health care, one of the most dynamic industries in the United States, is continually reshaped by shifting trends and the emergence of new health care services sectors. An important, recent trend is the diminishing access to routine and emergency medical care, which was traditionally provided exclusively at physician offices and the hospital emergency room, respectively. The growing demand for timely care, coupled with the diminishing access to traditional primary care providers and hospital emergency rooms, has created a significant supply/demand imbalance in the marketplace.
The following underlying trends have adversely impacted timely access to primary care:

  • Aging population driving demand for preventive care, senior care and transport services

  • Greater number of insured patients as a result of a growing population and health care reform

  • Growing shortage of primary care physicians due to several factors, including the shifts toward specialization and concierge medicine

  • Decline in the number of emergency departments (“EDs”), resulting in longer wait times and increased demand for emergency transportation, and driving growth in the ambulance services sector

  • Consumerism in health care whereby greater access to health information created patient empowerment and consumer preference

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