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Reimbursement changes spur expansion among urgent care operators
With a push from value-based care, consumers and provider organizations are looking to urgent care centers to get inexpensive care quickly, on a walk-in basis. Urgent care centers continue to be on the fast track for growth—the nation has more than 7,000 urgent care centers, according to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA). And competition is growing, as retail locations, such as drug stores operated by CVS, are heavily marketing in-store clinics to customers. Next week, we’ll list some of the top retail organizations expanding into this space.

In all venues, the use of IT is growing among these centers, as they aim to fit into the care continuum and communicate treatment with other providers in the community.

Here, we list some of the largest operators of centers in the U.S., with help from Merchant Medicine, which regularly reports on growth among care center chains.
MedExpress Urgent Care
252 sites in 22 states

MedExpress was acquired in April 2015 by Optum, a division of United HealthGroup.

American Family Care
200 sites in 26 states

American Family Care opened its first family care/urgent care clinic in Birmingham, Ala., in 1982. American Family Care acquired Doctors Express in 2013. The chain predicts it will operate nearly 200 clinics by the end of 2016. The chain has opened 14 sites since January 1, and it has stated plans of having more than 500 clinics nationwide in the next five years.

U.S. HealthWorks/Dignity/GoHealth
173 sites in 21 states

U.S. HealthWorks is a subsidiary of Dignity Health. In addition to urgent care, U.S. HealthWorks also offers occupational medicine, therapy care and specialty services, operating in excess of 200 total locations. It is the largest chain operated by a hospital or multispecialty group, according to data from Merchant Medicine.

NextCare Urgent Care
139 sites in 10 states

The urgent care chain is operated by NextCare Holdings, which also offers occupational medical services.

FastMed Urgent Care
109 sites in three states

FastMed Urgent Care is an owner and operator of urgent care facilities with locations throughout Arizona, North Carolina and Texas. FastMed is managed by an affiliated entity of one of the investment funds of ABRY Partners.

HCA CareNow
103 sites in 10 states

The chain, operated by HCA, the Nashville, Tenn.-based operator of acute care hospitals, had its beginning in October 2014, when HCA entered an agreement to acquire CareNow, a privately held company.

MedPost/CareSpot Express Healthcare/USP
99 sites in at least four states

CareSpot is operated and managed together with MedPost Urgent Care, with both brands expanding together across the United States to provide immediate medical attention and treatment. CareSpot has affiliations with integrated delivery systems, particularly Baptist Health and UFHealth in Florida; HCA Midwest Health in Kansas and Missouri; and TriStar Health in Tennessee.

CityMD/Premier Care
96 sites in 3 states

The chain operates in the metropolitan area surrounding New York City, and it is expanding operations in Washington state, where it is partnering with CHI Franciscan Health.

GoHealth Urgent Care
84 sites in 6 states

GoHealth Urgent Care partners with larger healthcare organizations to provide urgent care services. It boasts of seamless integration with market-leading health systems and the communities they serve. GoHealth Urgent Care operates urgent care centers in the New York, Portland, OR, metropolitan areas and San Francisco Bay Area. Current partners include Northwell Health, New York's largest health system; Legacy Health, the largest nonprofit, locally owned health system in the Portland-Vancouver area; and Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.

Patient First
73 sites in four states and the District of Columbia

Patient First opened its first center in 1981; it’s based in King of Prussia, Pa. It’s open every day of the year, including weekends and holidays.

Fast Pace Urgent Care
62 sites in 3 states

The chain is growing, and has clinics primarily in Tennessee, with a few located in Kentucky and Mississippi. The chain opened with a single facility in October 2009.

54 sites in five states

The chain operates centers in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston; and Chicago. It operates in Boston under the name Partners Urgent Care, in affiliation with Mass General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and also has centers in Baltimore and Atlanta.

Doctors Care
53 sites in four states

Doctors Care opened in 1981 as the first minor emergency medical center in Columbia, S.C. The chain offers urgent care, family care, occupational medicine and employee wellness services. The chain also offers online urgent care.

Premier Health
53 sites in four states and Puerto Rico

The Baton Rouge, La.-based company owns and operates urgent care centers utilizing a health system, joint-venture model. Premier Health currently manages urgent care clinics in partnership with 10 health systems representing 28 hospitals. Its centers are in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Texas and Puerto Rico.

Banner Health
44 sites in 2 states

This chain is operated by Banner Health, an integrated delivery system based in Arizona. The centers offer services, screenings and tests, in addition to treatment for common illnesses and injuries.

Northwell Health
44 sites in one state

The large New York metro area integrated delivery system offer its urgent care clinics in partnership with GoHealth.

MultiCare/Immediate Clinic
44 sites in one state

MultiCare Health System and Immediate Clinic Seattle joined in 2016; the 14 Immediate Clinic locations in the Puget Sound region became part of MultiCare’s network of urgent care clinics serving Western Washington.

Centra Care
41 sites in two states

With Centra Care, patients get urgent care, everywhere. It offers non-life-threatening, corporate emergency medical clinic and onsite services. It has affiliations with integrated delivery systems in the states in which it operates.

Physicians Urgent Care
43 sites

The chain is a privately owned and operated organization that operates urgent care centers.

Physicians Immediate Care
37 sites in three states

Physicians Immediate Care, also known as Physicians Urgent Care, recently formed a joint venture with Presence Health that will operate urgent care and occupational medicine facilities in the Chicago area.

Aurora Health
37 sites in two states

The chain is operated by Aurora Health Care, based in Wisconsin. About half of the centers are located in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Urgent Team
36 sites in four states

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company began in 2011 after recognizing a gap in many communities for high-quality walk-in medical centers to care for mid-level illness and injuries.

Express Care of MD
36 sites in four states

ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers offer urgent medical treatment for common illnesses and injuries, physical therapy following an auto accident, flu shots, work-related injury services, and much more.

Providence Health & Services Express Care
36 sites in one state

Urgent and immediate care clinics are operated by Providence Health & Services of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

34 sites in two states

ZOOM+Care Neighborhood Clinics provide On-Demand urgent, primary, and specialist care, with on-site Rx and labs.

MD Now
33 locations in one state

MD Now Urgent Care Centers' clinics are located throughout South Florida across Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Intermountain Health (InstaCare and KidsCare Clinics)
31 sites in one state

The centers are operated by Intermountain Healthcare, and they provide care for urgent but non-life-threatening conditions for patients of all ages at InstaCare and KidsCare locations, all in Utah. Providers in the clinics have access to imaging equipment and lab services to quickly diagnose and treat conditions.

31 sites in one state

The chain operates primarily in the New York metropolitan area. It offers urgent care, primary care and specialty care.

Atrium Health Urgent Care
30 sites in one state

The chain recently was renamed Atrium Health, having previously operated the clinics as Carolinas HealthCare System, based in Charlotte, N.C.

Sutter Urgent Care
29 sites in one state

Sutter Health’s various regions offer urgent care clinics in connection with its broad range of healthcare services.