Darius and Shideh Kerman had a big scare when their son fell on a frozen lake and hit his head. They rushed him to the ER and it took four hours before he was seen by a doctor. As parents, they walked away with relief knowing their son would be okay.
As business people, they recognized the desperate need for accessible, efficient and affordable health care. They did their homework and bought an urgent care franchise with American Family Care (AFC), a national urgent care franchise and the nation’s leading provider of urgent and primary care.
“We researched many businesses and when we discovered American Family Care we knew it was the perfect fit for us and the right solution for the healthcare market place in America,” says Darius.
American Family Care (AFC) has more than 150 clinics nationwide, of which 60% are franchised. It’s a unique opportunity for business people like the Kermans without a medical background to own an urgent care center. “Investors and business people want to get into health care because it’s an industry that keeps growing,” says Scott Hoots, Vice President of Franchise Operations for American Family Care. “Despite the economy and looming health care changes, people will continue to need quality, affordable care. We are the only franchise that allows a person with no medical background to own an urgent care center.”
Plus, Hoots adds American Family Care’s founder and CEO, Doctor Bruce Irwin, is considered ‘the Henry Ford of health care,’ because he pioneered the urgent care concept. “Dr. Irwin’s vision is the future of health care. When you hear him speak and see the vision and passion he has for making quality health care accessible, you can’t help but to be inspired.”
The idea for AFC first came to Dr. Irwin while working in the ER as a young doctor. He noticed people with a cough, cold or a broken bone could be treated better and cheaper elsewhere with walk-in medical clinics, no appointment necessary. Dr. Irwin’s idea for walk-in clinics, now called urgent cares, caught on. The Urgent Care Association of America reports 9,000 urgent care facilities operate in the U.S. and they’re growing at a rate of 300 a year. Each clinic sees an average of 359 patients each week and that number will continue to grow with the shortage of primary care doctors, a growing senior population who needs care and the 17. 6 million people who now have insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The Kermans currently own two franchises in Denver, Colorado with hopes to build more. “We chose Denver because it’s a growing market, very health oriented, and one of the healthiest states in the nation,” says Darius. “We saw a need to help the people of Denver maintain quality health and AFC gives us the blueprint to do just that.”
The American Family Care model provides franchisees like the Kermans with the necessary tools to provide a high quality of care, focus on customer retention, without getting overwhelmed by the regulatory aspect of medicine.
“The health care industry can be intimidating and opening an urgent care independently can be a daunting task,” says Hoots. “You must hire a medical director, find a location, hire a contractor, research the best medical equipment.” Hoots says the best thing about franchising with American Family Care is that all of this is already worked out for you. “We have established vendors to help you find a site, we have a construction management firm which takes the worry out of design and construction process. And we have negotiated great equipment pricing” says Hoots.
American Family Care medical facilities stand out from other urgent care centers by offering a consistent, state of the art treatment across a broad range of services. Doctors diagnose and treat illnesses, traumas and sports injuries, including minor surgical procedures. Physicians also dispense medication, plus the facility is equipped to x-ray and set broken bones. Pre-employment physicals, drug screening and treatment of work related injuries are also available.
Franchisees also get a ton of support. Recruiting physicians can be challenging for franchisees in certain parts of the country. Hoots says AFC provides a simple solution. The company uses recruiting services at a fraction of the market cost. Plus, the company doubled the number of Franchise Business Consultants. Each FBC supports less than 20 franchise owners. “We listen to our franchisees and adjust our support where it is necessary,” says Hoots. Every executive operates an open door policy and encourages franchisees for feedback. Hoots also says it is their job to make sure every franchisee is prepared. “Like every successful franchise system, we have truly worked out a business model that is plug in and play, no matter where you are in the United States.”
For the Kermans the plug in and play model is already a proven success. They are nearly half way to reaching their goal of opening 5 AFC urgent care clinics in Denver. “We know this urgent care model is the future. We are invested in providing quality of care and with the support of the AFC team we can make this happen” says Shideh Kerman.
Nancy Bostrom is a PR Catalyst for 919 Marketing, a national marketing, PR and social media agency that creates and executes hard-hitting Social Relations™ programs on behalf of emerging and established franchise companies. Bostrom is a passionate, driven and energetic account executive. For more than 20 years, Bostrom worked as a news producer for some of the top television news organizations in the country, including WSB in Atlanta and WFAA in Dallas. Bostrom helps franchise clients share national and local stories that increase franchise sales lead flow and in-store traffic for franchisees. As a member of the 919 Marketing team, Bostrom is part of a powerful collection of Emmy award winning journalists, nationally recognized marketing strategists, creative content marketing gurus and savvy digital marketing analysts who have proven experience delivering powerful, revenue generating results for emerging and established franchise brands.