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Freestanding emergency departments: benchmarks

Urgent Care Association of America, a trade group representing urgent care centers, has produced this brief white paper comparing the characteristics of freestanding emergency departments with hospital EDs and with urgent care centers.  Here are some of the observations:

  • 35 to 40 patients/day: break even for a freestanding emergency department (FED)
  • 3 to 5 percent of FED patients are admitted to a hospital
  • 60 to 90 minutes: length of stay in FED
  • $350 to $500: net revenue / patient in FED
  • 5,000 to 20,000 square feet: FED size

One city that has been called a hotbed for FED development is Houston, which had 35 centers at the time this white paper was written.  A related article indicates that there are a total of 284 FEDs in operation nationally.

Sources: Ayers, A.A.  Emerging Business Models: Freestanding Emergency Rooms.  Urgent Care Association of America, (Feb. 2012?)  Click here for full text: http://www.ucaoa.org/docs/Article_Freestanding.pdf

Ter Maat, S.  Freestanding emergency department growth creates backlash.  American Medical News, Apr. 29, 2013.  Click here for full text: http://www.amednews.com/article/20130429/business/130429966/4/

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

One Response

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