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Does the arrival of urgent care centers reduce the acuity of visits at nearby EDs?

Urgent care centers are on the rise. Back in 2013, there were only 6,100, but this number increased to 9,616 by late 2019 a 7.9% average annual increase. The rise of urgent care could have positive or negative impacts on overall health care spending. On the one hand, increased supply could lead to higher cost if individuals begin to use urgent care over primary care visits; on the other hand, if people with less serious acute conditions begin visiting urgent care centers rather than the emergency department (ED), then cost could fall.

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