Urgent Care Marketing Group Says Urgent Care Providers Feeling Upbeat and Pessimistic in 2011 First Quarter Survey

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Urgent Care Center operators report good First Quarter while becoming pessimistic about the remainder of 2011. Uncertainty over national health care policies, business erosion by hospitals cited as concerns.

In late 2010, our survey found urgent care center owners very upbeat about 20111 growth based on the public, in general, being more educated about the benefits of using urgent care facilities versus receiving treatment in hospital emergency rooms

The nation’s urgent care center owners and operators continue to be upbeat about the current economy but somewhat pessimistic about business growth for second quarter 2011 according to a recently completed survey conducted by the Urgent Care Marketing Group. The Urgent Care Marketing survey, released in advance of the Urgent Care Association of America’s National Convention in Chicago, May 10 - 13, asked specific questions related to current local market conditions and the forecast for 2011.

The survey found an overwhelming majority of urgent care operators had experienced an increase in patient counts for the first quarter of 2011. However, based on uncertainties in the economy and national health care policies, opinions on continued growth in 2011 was less certain. “In late 2010, our survey found urgent care center owners very upbeat about 20111 growth based on the public, in general, being more educated about the benefits of using urgent care facilities versus receiving treatment in hospital emergency rooms,” said Sam Yates, founder of the Urgent Care Marketing Group.

“This was a direct result of education efforts by the Urgent Care Association of America and local practitioners who independently were promoting the benefits of urgent care clinics,” Yates added. “The biggest change came in the overall attitude of those surveyed regarding the current state of the economy and national health care,” said Yates. “The lack of a clear pathway for national health care was seen as a factor (both positive and negative) that was creating uncertainty about continued growth.

Urgent care center operators are watching national and state political developments very closely to see how their business may be impacted in either a good or bad way,” Yates added. “Some of those surveyed felt the uncertainty about national health care coupled with pending state mandates over pension and other care plans, and potential changes in Medicare and other benefits could be a positive in that patients who are confused over what is going on will see urgent care clinics as care they can depend on no matter what happens in the political arena,” said Yates.

Other findings in the survey revealed urgent care practitioners still see hospitals more aggressively marketing their emergency room services as the biggest threat to business. “Hospitals continue to ramp up their marketing whether it’s with billboards showing emergency room wait times or radio and television commercials touting their modern facilities. Hospitals are now countering the education efforts of urgent care practitioners who were making progress creating brand awareness with their own awareness campaigns and they are spending huge sums of dollars to gain back their share of patients. In most cases, local urgent care centers just can’t compete on a dollar to dollar marketing basis. Urgent care operators have to become more innovative in their marketing,” noted Yates.

The survey also found that 70% of those questioned were utilizing a marketing plan to brand their urgent care center. A large majority reported using print and broadcast advertising were their primary marketing tools while 40% still reported they had no website for their urgent care center. For more details about the Urgent Care Marketing Group survey of urgent care providers, visit their website at http://www.UrgentCareMarketing.com.

The Urgent Care Marketing Group is a single source of marketing, public relations, internet, social media, video, and design services operating online through the website http://www.UrgentCareMarketing.com. Founded as a consortium of leading marketing, public relations, internet, graphic design, and video production experts to the Urgent Care Industry, the site is a one-stop-shop for urgent care providers.

The group of Urgent Care Marketing professionals provides web design, brochures, marketing videos, direct mail, advertising, public relations, and a full range of marketing activities from direct mail to providing brochures and other urgent care collateral materials. To learn more about the services created specifically for the Urgent Care Industry, visit http://www.UrgentCareMarketing.com. You may also call (772) 463-8152 or toll free 800-805-3942. Please send written inquiries to Urgent Care Marketing, P.O. Box 256, Jensen Beach, Florida, 34958.

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Sam Yates
Urgent Care Marketing Group
(800) 805-3942
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