American Family Care Pivots During Pandemic and Produces Successful Results

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Innovations Allow Nation’s Largest Provider of Urgent Care to Expand During Economic Crisis

While the events of the past few months have strained many businesses and forced massive closures and layoffs, AFC pivoted quickly with targeted innovation that benefited both patients and franchisees.

The strength and resiliency of American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s leading provider of urgent care and accessible primary care, has been on full display during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s paying off with record-setting growth.

“While the events of the past few months have strained many businesses and forced massive closures and layoffs, AFC pivoted quickly with targeted innovation that benefited both patients and franchisees,” explains Sean Hart, Vice President of Sales and Development at American Family Care.

As concerns about COVID-19 began to take a strong hold on the economy, patient visits declined 71 percent. But thanks to the innovation and forward-thinking of AFC, patient visits to AFC are now up 58 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

Virtual Visits

To ease patient fears about in-person doctor visits, AFC moved quickly to launch the AFC/Telecare portal. This allows medical providers in the American Family nationwide network of healthcare clinics to provide virtual visits to patients, including assessment/screening of COVID-19 symptoms or any other healthcare problems, such as acute illnesses and trauma, help managing chronic illness and prescription medication as needed, all from the safety of their home.

The telemedicine option allowed franchisees to keep established patients and opened opportunities to increase the number of new patients — which means a long-term benefit to business.

COVID-19 Testing

Key relationships with healthcare heavyweights such as Abbott Laboratories allowed AFC to be named the first health care provider in the country to provide the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. The national recognition drove even more patients to AFC clinics. “We did act quickly, and by leveraging purchasing power and key relationships, we are able to make things like the COVID-19 testing opportunity happen,” adds Hart. “Innovation is at the core of American Family Care. The first innovation took place 38 years ago when AFC was founded. The current situation just highlights how we are and will continue to be better prepared than others in the industry.”

Virtual Discovery Day

Another example of how AFC stays ahead of the curve operationally is with the franchise’s approach to Discovery Day.
When this unprecedented crisis threatened to derail one of the most important days in a potential franchisee’s journey, AFC used the power of technology to bring the process to prospects virtually.

Discovery Day is typically the final step in the approval process for prospective franchisees and often occurs after a period of due diligence. It is an opportunity to meet the key team members of the franchise and ultimately decide if the brand is the right fit.

“We know how important it is for our prospects to hear how our system operates, learn about our culture, interact with our team and ask questions to gain knowledge to make an informed decision about opening an AFC franchise, ” explains Hart. “The virtual Discovery Day process has opened a new avenue for people interested in investing in an AFC franchise. As a result, we’ve closed more deals and have far more deals pending than we did at this time last year.”

In good economic times and bad, AFC takes a proactive approach in finding new ways to bring affordable and accessible healthcare to patients as well as bring in new business for franchisees.

The company is constantly adapting and acting to ensure it remains a stable, consistent, and profitable leader in the healthcare industry.

About American Family Care:

Founded by Dr. Bruce Irwin with a single location in 1982, American Family Care has pioneered the concept of convenient, patient-centric healthcare. Today, with more than 200 clinics and 600 in-network physicians caring for nearly 3 million patients a year, AFC is the nation’s leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine. Ranked by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., AFC’s stated mission is to provide the best healthcare possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient. For more information, visit

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Nancy Bostrom
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