Urgent Cares Left Out of COVID-19 Testing Equation

Testing was one of the biggest healthcare challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In an article recently published by Bloomberg, one of the most logical solutions was left out of the equation – urgent care.

Bloomberg spoke with half a dozen urgent-care companies with hundreds of locations coast to coast who reported that they have abundant testing capacity but weren’t being fully utilized.

According to the article, “While it’s hard to say exactly how much testing capacity is going unused, the Urgent Care Association says the industry has the ability to do about 500,000 tests a day. Right now, they have the ability to treat 390,000 more patients a day than they’re currently seeing, based on data from Experity Health, which provides back-office services to nearly half of U.S. urgent-care centers. That translates to 11.7 million more people a month.”

This article highlights one of the challenges our industry faces, not just during the time of a crisis, but from a broader perspective. As quoted in the article, urgent care facilities are a “blind spot,” according to John Radford a physician who founded New York chain WellNow Urgent Care.

As urgent care continues to transform itself and attracts more patients looking for convenient, accessible healthcare, it will be important than ever to increase awareness on a local and national level, evolving with the needs of our patients and communities.