One of the country’s largest not-for-profit health systems, Trinity Health, is banking on future demand for urgent care by acquiring a majority stake in a privately held Louisiana company that runs such facilities.
Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity, which has more than 90 hospitals and drew almost $19 billion in annual revenue in fiscal 2020, says it plans to use its new position in Baton Rouge, La.-based Premier Health to expand patient access to convenient care, both in its own communities and beyond.
“We’re bullish about urgent care because we saw even through the pandemic, their volumes came racing back,” said Mike Englehart, Trinity’s senior vice president of medical groups and ambulatory strategy. “People used them, rather efficiently, to do COVID testing. And the scores they receive from patients are top decile.”
Providers have invested heavily in more urgent care and other types of ambulatory facilities in recent years as patients clamor for cheaper, more convenient options. The pandemic lit a fire under that trend as patients avoided hospitals out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. Urgent-care centers have played a significant role in COVID-19 testing. Publicly traded Tenet Healthcare Corp. said it saw “very strong growth” in urgent-care visits in the quarter ended Sept. 30 , 2020. Despite that, Tenet plans to sell most of its urgent-care centers.
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