Why It Matters
Children in low-income families need greater access to high-quality, affordable primary care. By delivering well-child visits to Medicaid enrollees with limited access to primary care providers, urgent care centers can close gaps in care for children in low-income families. In fact, three well-child visits per urgent care center per day would close 10 million care gaps each year.
Each year 10 million children in low-income families in the U.S. go without well-child visits – annual checkups that include health screenings and immunizations – that are vital to the health and development of children.
Families in rural areas, especially, have limited access to primary care because there are few providers – including office-based physicians – and families must travel long distances to receive care. Urgent care centers can provide well-child visits to 2 million children in rural areas.
Urgent care centers provide 90 million convenient, on-demand primary care visits each year. They can provide well-child visits that close gaps in care for millions of children in Medicaid who have limited access to a regular primary care provider.
Over 10,000 urgent care centers across the United States provide about 30% of the nation’s primary care. Urgent care centers are well positioned to serve families whose children have limited access to regular primary care – they are located in convenient retail settings, are open evenings and weekends, and offer on-demand, walk-in visits with short wait times.
West Virginia Case Study
In West Virginia, only one of three Medicaid enrollees age 3 to 18 receives an annual well-child visit – one of the lowest rates of any state – leaving over 100,000 children with gaps in primary care each year.
MedExpress is helping to address these gaps by partnering with Medicaid managed care plans in 11 states to deliver well-child visits and share the clinical information with plans and primary care providers. In West Virginia alone, 26 MedExpress urgent care centers partnered with three Medicaid managed care plans to deliver more than 7,000 well-child visits to Medicaid enrollees, including 5,000 for children living in rural areas.
UnitedHealth Group is committed to revitalizing primary care for children in low-income families and all people. We have dedicated ourselves to a future where every person has access to high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique health care needs and financial means.
Insights & Solutions
We are committed to leading in the development of the next-generation health system in a socially conscious way and driving distinguished societal return by improving health care access and affordability, enhancing the health care experience and achieving better health outcomes for the individuals and organizations we are privileged to serve.