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Healthcare Insights

How many urgent care clinics are in the U.S.?

Urgent care facilities are outpatient clinics that provide care for acute and chronic illnesses and injuries that are considered non-life threatening. They offer longer and more convenient hours than are typically available at a traditional doctor’s office and are considered a viable alternative to emergency departments for many types of diagnoses and procedures.

Below, we’ve used data from Definitive Healthcare’s ClinicView product to rank the 10 states with the most urgent care clinics per capita.

Top 10 states with the most urgent care clinics per capita

RankStateClinics per 100,000 populationExplore dataset
9North Carolina3.64Explore

Fig. 1. Data sourced from the Definitive Healthcare ClinicView product. Accessed September 2023.

How many urgent care centers are in the U.S. as of 2023?

According to Definitive Healthcare data, there are about 10,200 active urgent care clinics across the U.S.

The state with the most clinics per capita is Mississippi, with 145 active urgent care clinics serving its 2.9 million citizens, or about 4.93 clinics per 100,000 citizens. Second is Louisiana with 4.75 clinics per capita (218 clinics for a population of 4.5 million), followed by Wyoming with 4.30 clinics per capita (25 clinics serving around 581,300 citizens).

Out of the top 10, six of the states with the most urgent care clinics per capita are located in the Southeast. Check out our map of urgent care centers across the U.S. for a full count of facilities per state.

How big is the urgent care industry?

Urgent care is on the rise across the country. Definitive Healthcare’s all-payor claims data suggests that urgent care use in the U.S. jumped 70% from 2017 to 2022. The Urgent Care Association, an industry trade group, says the number of urgent care centers is growing around 7% per year.

In terms of overall value, IBISWorld estimates that the urgent care market will reach around $48 billion in revenue by the end of 2023.

How are urgent care clinics different from retail clinics?

While physician assistants and nurse practitioners often see patients at both types of outpatient clinics,urgent care clinics are unique in that they require a physician to be employed at every location. In contrast, physicians may be affiliated with a retail clinic, but employment is not a requirement.

Retail and urgent care clinics can also differ in the types of illnesses and injuries they treat. At a minimum, both types of clinics treat acute conditions that a primary care provider (PCP) might address, such as flu and cold symptoms, strep throat, allergies and rashes, and minor cuts and skin conditions. In more recent years, urgent care and retail clinics have become common access points for COVID-related vaccination and testing.

However, patients with serious cuts that require stitches or broken bones should turn to an urgent care clinic for treatment. Most urgent care clinics offer in-house X-rays, while some even offer more advancedimaging services such as CT scans. Many urgent care clinics offer multiple exam rooms and have an average patient wait time of 15 minutes or less

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.