Practice Velocity customer FastMed in North Carolina has received a large investment from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to expand urgent care offerings in the state. This continues the trend of investments by payors in urgent care centers.

Two other Practice Velocity clients have, also, received substantial payor investments from Humana ( Concentra ) and Wellpoint ( Physicians Immediate Care).  This trend may be frightening to smaller urgent care care centers.  However, after talking to many of the principles in these deals, I can assure you that this is simply a reflection of these payors’ understanding of the importance of urgent care and their commitment to opening high-quality alternatives to the hospital emergency department.  Thus, although this may mean more competition, it also means that payors are committed to urgent care access (but high quality UCCs only), whether the payor is in ownership or not.