Preparing to Build an Urgent Care Center


The American healthcare industry is a vast one, and it ranges from hospitals to urgent care clinics to dentists’ offices. In particular, the urgent care sector is young but highly lucrative, and ever since the year 2000, a few thousand different urgent care clinics have been opened across the United States. They can be found anywhere from hospitals to strip malls to retailers, but what are some urgent care start up costs to consider when building one? This is a business like any other, and an entrepreneur will probably want consulting for urgent care centers, not to mention an urgent care marketing plan and a good credit score. These urgent care start up costs may end up being fairly high, depending on where the new clinic is to be built, so it’s vital to calculate everything ahead of time.

The Medical Industry Today

What is the current state of the American healthcare sector, especially for urgent care centers? There are many of them already, often found in the larger towns and cities, and as of 2018, there were around 2,800 retail clinics in operation across the nation. That is 14 times more than there were in the year 2008, and more are being built all the time. All together, this market was worth an impressive $1.4 billion as of 2016, and it’s due to have a CAGR of 20% through the year 2025. They get a lot of traffic, too, as nearly one in five American households will visit a retail care center during a given year. Some of these clinics are specialized ones, such as pediatric clinics that have pediatricians on staff, so they can accept children and babies as patients. Such young patients have distinct medical needs from adult patients, after all, and the parents of an ill or wounded child will want to find a pediatric clinic within convenient distance.

Urgent Care Start Up Costs and Considerations

Suppose an entrepreneur decided to build a new urgent care center, or renovate an old one and put it back into operation. This will take a lot of effort and planning, from calculating urgent care start up costs to hiring construction crews to working with medical staffing agencies and more. As with any other real estate, location is quite important, as the wrong place can harm the care center’s traffic flow and profit margins. On one hand, building a center in a very thinly populated area is risky, since there are fewer people who will visit the clinic, such as remote rural areas. By contrast, a densely populated area has more traffic, but probably more competition, too, and other care centers may already be well established there. It should be noted that many rural communities lack an urgent care center, and building one there might be lucrative if it’s accessible enough and it’s advertised heavily enough.

Aside from choosing a location, there’s also the consideration of hiring either a construction crew to build a free-standing urgent care center, or hiring remodeling teams to renovate an older one (or repurpose an older strip mall area) to make a new urgent care center. This is definitely going to cost a lot, but it’s a step that can’t be ignored.

What else will factor into urgent care start up costs? An urgent care center may run more smoothly and with better profits if advanced medical record software and computer are included, so it is important that the entrepreneur goes on the market to find the best medical record software that matches their needs and their budget. Getting the cheapest one possible may not be a good idea. And, of course, the urgent care center’s new owner must buy enough medical equipment (large and small) to get the clinic running, from medicine for the pharmacy to cotton swabs and bandages, among many others. The new urgent care center will also need staff to be hired (usually through a medical staffing agency) and proper advertising, both online and on paper, so local populations are made aware of the new care center’s location and hours of operation. The new care center should also appear easily in local search engines and websites such as Yelp! and its peers.

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