Healthcare Insights

How many urgent care centers are in each U.S. state?

Urgent care centers have become a key part of the U.S. healthcare landscape, offering an alternative to emergency rooms (ERs) for non-life-threatening medical conditions.

Convenience, high costs of ER visits, and increased investment by health systems are a few factors fueling urgent care’s growth—and we will likely continue to see it grow as patient care preferences continue to shift away from the hospital.

Using data from ClinicView, we compiled a list of urgent care centers in the U.S. in 2024. Keep reading to find out where these clinics are located and how urgent care centers differ from other care settings.

Number of urgent care centers in each state

Fig. 1 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare ClinicView product. The number of facilities represents only those urgent care clinics listed as “active” in the Definitive Healthcare database as of February 2024.

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

There were 10,728 active urgent care clinics in the U.S. as of February 2024. These centers offer convenient healthcare services for people who require immediate medical attention but do not have an emergency medical condition.

About half of all clinics were concentrated across ten densely populated states, including California (10%), Texas (8%), and Florida (7%). Metropolitan areas with the highest numbers of urgent care clinics are detailed below.

Metropolitan areas with the most urgent care clinics

Rank CBSA # of urgent care centers Explore dataset
New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA 484 Explore
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim CA 411 Explore
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 271 Explore
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta GA 256 Explore
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach FL 237 Explore
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land TX 232 Explore
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MI 225 Explore
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD 114 Explore
Boston-Cambridge-Newton MA-NH 110 Explore
10 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 107 Explore

Fig. 2 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare ClinicView product. The number of facilities represents only those urgent care clinics listed as “active” in the Definitive Healthcare database as of February 2024.

For more information on the latest urgent care trends, check out our Healthcare Insights on the top urgent care clinics ranked by patient population and the most common urgent care procedures performed.

What are urgent care clinics and what do they treat?

An urgent care center is a medical facility that provides immediate medical treatment for non-life-threatening medical conditions. These centers are open for extended hours, including evenings and weekends, and do not require appointments, allowing patients to receive medical care on a walk-in basis.

Urgent care centers are equipped to treat a wide range of conditions, including minor injuries, illnesses, and infections that require prompt medical attention but aren’t serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room.

How do urgent care clinics differ from retail clinics?

Retail clinics and urgent care centers are grouped together as convenient care clinics because both offer extended hours and accept walk-in appointments. The main difference between retail clinics and urgent care centers is the level of care that they provide. Retail clinics treat a limited range of minor, acute conditions, such as allergies, colds, and infections.

Urgent care centers, which have on-site diagnostic equipment and procedure rooms, can offer a broader range of care for non-life-threatening conditions that need immediate attention, such as splinting and casting for broken bones or minor laceration and wound repair.

To qualify as an urgent care clinic in Definitive Healthcare’s ClinicView product, a facility must meet the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine and the Urgent Care Association of America's primary requirements. These include:

  • Accept walk-in patients
  • Offer extended hours
  • Treat a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries
  • Procedure room for performing minor medical procedures (e.g., stitches, casts, low-risk surgery under a local anesthetic only)
  • Multiple exam rooms
  • On-site diagnostic equipment (e.g., phlebotomy and x-ray)
  • Communication lines with local hospitals for streamlined transfers to ERs

What’s the difference between urgent care and an emergency room in the U.S.?

Urgent care clinics and emergency rooms serve very different purposes in the healthcare system. As mentioned above, urgent care centers provide medical care for conditions that require prompt attention but are not life-threatening. Emergency rooms, on the other hand, are equipped to handle life-threatening medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, severe bleeding, loss of consciousness, and more.

Emergency rooms also operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Urgent care centers are not designed for patients to stay overnight, though many facilities are open beyond regular office hours, including evenings and weekends.

Finally, due to the more critical level of care required and resources available, services provided in an emergency room are typically more expensive than those in urgent care centers.

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