Characteristics that Govern Repeat Use of Urgent Care in a Multi-Specialty Group Practice.
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Multi-specialty group practices which developed Health Maintenance Organizations HMOs were particularly concerned with health plan expenditures for emergency services and viewed Urgent Care Centers as a means of bringing these expenditures under control. These organizations also discovered that a large segment of the population does not identify with a regular source of health care. By establishing Urgent Care Centers and providing convenient access to care they believed their overall market share would increase. The Urgent Care Center UCC was designed to provide convenient, no appointment, and reasonably priced medical care reasonable when compared to an emergency room. In the group practice environment, the UCC was especially intended for one time users, who were not part of the organizations normal constituency, in order to increase market share. Management hoped that these consumers would receive a favorable first impression from this contact and decide to affiliate with the organization. Once such a decision was made the new member would be assigned to a regular physician who the organization believed would continue to provide the member with convenient, accessible care of a more comprehensive nature. The provision of this continuing, comprehensive care was designed to result in a healthier member and hopefully reduce health care costs.
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