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Substituting Hospitals: An Analysis of Urgent Care Centers in the Market for Healthcare

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The primary purpose of this paper is to analyze urgent care centers and explain their role within the U.S. healthcare system. The introduction of urgent care into the market for

The primary purpose of this paper is to analyze urgent care centers and explain their role within the U.S. healthcare system. The introduction of urgent care into the market for health care services has brought with it a new way for consumers to receive non-emergent healthcare outside of traditional hours. Urgent care is often cited as a plausible alternative to care received at an emergency department or primary care physician's office. One of the key questions the author attempts to answer is: "To what degree are urgent care centers an economic substitute to emergency departments or physician's offices?" This paper looks at both projected demand from currently operating urgent care centers and consumer preference surveys to estimate the willingness of consumers to use urgent care. The method used to accomplish this task has been compiling scholarly research and data on urgent care centers. After a thorough examination of relevant studies and datasets, urgent care centers have been found to be just as preferred as emergency departments when considering non-emergent cases, specifically among individuals aged 18-44. The clear majority of consumers still prefer visiting a primary care physician over an urgent care center when it comes to episodic care, however. When taking into account wait times, differences in cost, and ease of access, urgent care becomes much more preferred than an emergency department and weakly preferred to a physician's office. There are still some concerns with urgent care, however. Questions of capacity to meet demand, access for underserved communities, and susceptibility to adverse selection have yet to be fully explored.

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  • 2018-05

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Establishing a Health Practice in the U. S. by a Mexican National: A Study into the Public Policy, Business and International Components of Urgent Care in Arizona

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Establishing a healthcare practice in the U. S. by a Mexican national involves many different steps at federal as well as state levels. The recent implementation of the Patient Protection

Establishing a healthcare practice in the U. S. by a Mexican national involves many different steps at federal as well as state levels. The recent implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act overhauls some requirements which include increased Medicaid eligibility as well as mandatory health insurance coverage. With these changes taking place over the next few years, the need for healthcare providers will expand. Consequently, I look into the requirements of establishing an urgent care practice in the state of Arizona. Given that Phoenix has a 40.8% Hispanic population and that the Affordable Care Act will increase the coverage of this demographic, it is the city of focus for my analysis. In order to make access to the Arizona healthcare market more impartial and accessible to Mexican entrepreneurs, changes need to be made to the certification process of medical physicians who graduated from Mexican universities. The general disadvantage of Mexican physicians as compared to their U. S. counterparts comes in the form of increased certification times and additional processes. An equal playing field will allow the ease in movement of medical physicians between the U. S. and Mexico which will help meet the increased demand over the next few years. From ownership to taxation and medical billing and coding, this analysis focuses on the many requirements needed to establish an urgent care in Arizona.

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  • 2014-05