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How Much Does It Cost to Open an Urgent Care?

If you are planning to open an urgent care center, you should budget about a million dollars or more. This is so because, from available data, the average cost to open an urgent care clinic is estimated between $850,000 and $1 million. On the high end, the cost could be up to $1.5 million.

Opening an urgent care center is a capital-intensive business because of the nature of services provided by urgent care centers.

An urgent care center is a type of walk-in clinic that provides medical care for minor illnesses and injuries that require immediate attention but are not serious enough to require an emergency room visit.

Urgent care centers typically have shorter wait times than emergency rooms and offer a variety of services, including treatment for common illnesses, such as colds, flu, and strep throat, treatment for minor injuries, such as cuts, sprains, and broken bones, diagnostic testing, such as X-rays and blood tests, immunizations, physical examinations, and occupational medicine services.

So, if you are planning to open an urgent care center, then you must be financially ready. Apart from the fact that you are expected to budget in the region of one million dollars to open an urgent care center, it is important to note that there are factors that can influence the exact amount it will cost you.

8 Factors That Influence the Cost of Opening an Urgent Care Center

  1. Your Choice of Location

High-traffic, urban areas with a lot of potential patients will likely have higher lease or property purchase costs compared to rural or less densely populated areas.

As such, if you plan to open your urgent care center in a metropolitan city, you should expect to spend more money on renting or leasing a facility, and also on other factors such as licensing and permits, tax, utilities, etc.

  1. The Facility Size

For example, a larger urgent care center facility may require a higher upfront investment in construction, furnishings, and maintenance.

The fact that there is no specific size for the facility required to start an urgent care center means your choice will be based on your preference. If you choose to open your urgent care center in a small facility, it means that you will spend moderately.

  1. Licensing and Regulations

Note that when it comes to opening and operating an urgent care center in the United States of America, compliance with local, state, and federal healthcare regulations is essential.

Meeting licensing and regulation requirements means obtaining the necessary permits, and licenses, and meeting building codes and healthcare standards.

Before you can open an urgent care center in the United States, you are expected to have a Business License, Healthcare Facility License, Certificate of Occupancy,

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Certification, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Compliance,

Controlled Substance Registration (DEA), Medical Waste Disposal Permit, Radiological Services License, Medicare and Medicaid Provider Enrollment,  and State-specific Medical Practice License.

  1. Furnishing, Equipment, and Technology

Outfitting your urgent care center with the required medical equipment, diagnostic tools, and electronic health record (EHR) systems can be a significant cost.

Note that the level of technology and equipment you choose will affect your expenses. Interestingly, you cannot open an urgent care center without having:

Examination tables, Diagnostic equipment (X-ray machine, ultrasound, ECG), Blood pressure monitors, Sphygmomanometers, Autoclave for sterilization, medical scales,

Centrifuge, Medical refrigerator, Lab equipment (microscopes, analyzers), Nebulizers, Suture kits, and medical instruments, and of course, waiting room furniture (chairs, reception desk)

  1. Staffing Cost

Without qualified employees, you cannot operate an urgent care center. In essence, if you are planning to open an urgent care center, you must make plans to hire a:

Medical Director, Urgent Care Physician, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, Radiologic Technologists, Laboratory Technicians, Administrative Staff (front desk, receptionists),

Billing and Coding Specialists, and Facility Manager or Operations Manager. Note that staffing or personnel costs, including salaries, benefits, and training, and are a substantial portion of the budget.

  1. Marketing and Branding

You know that building a brand and marketing your urgent care center is necessary to attract patients. When you are budgeting for marketing and branding of your urgent care center, you must make sure it covers a robust marketing strategy, and it must cover areas such as:

Online advertising, radio and TV advertising, newspaper, and magazine advertising, influencer advertising, use of signage, roadshows, and community outreach amongst others.

  1. Your Cost for Insurance and Liability Coverage

Before you can open an urgent care center, you will need various types of insurance, including malpractice insurance, general liability insurance, and property insurance.

Of course, you know that the cost of insurance can vary, and it will be based on your location, your coverage limits, and the type of healthcare or urgent care services provided.

  1. Your Ongoing Expenses

Interestingly, ongoing expenses for any business including an urgent care center are unique to the business owner and their preferences.

Basically, anyone who wants to open an urgent care center should have a budget for regular maintenance and repair of equipment, such as:

Diagnostic equipment (X-ray machine, ultrasound, ECG), blood pressure monitors, sphygmomanometers, autoclave for sterilization, medical scales, centrifuge, medical refrigerator, lab equipment (microscopes, analyzers), nebulizers, suture kits, and medical instruments, etc.