In many areas, healthcare — especially urgent care — has become incredibly impersonal. As healthcare needs increase and providers experience burnout, some patients are left with quick, in-and-out service rather than a true caregiving experience. Emediate Cure, the Illinois-based urgent care brand, is working to change that.
“We’re family-owned and community-oriented,” explained Amy Vertin, Emediate Cure Co-founder. “We push that pretty hard. We want our franchisees to live in the community that they will be serving. It’s very rare nowadays to have a face to put to a name or speak with an actual person that you might run into at the grocery store.”
After a potential franchisee expresses interest, they should expect a quick touch-base call from the co-founders. This is meant to explore the prospective franchisee’s history, interests and intentions. While liquidity requirements are important to the process, the duo likes to evaluate the culture fit first.
“We’re not just a franchise that you’re purchasing and telling you ‘Good luck!’ Your success is our success, so we really do want to make sure that we are guiding potential franchisees and providing realistic expectations,” explained Co-founder, April Kubinski.
What Is the Culture at Emediate Cure?
“We do have high standards; I say it all the time,” Kubinski said. “I want every single patient that walks through this door to feel that we are here to care for them and that we care about them.”
Both Vertin and Kubinski are full-practice family nurse practitioners who worked in emergency rooms for roughly 10 years before switching over to urgent care about a decade ago. After working in these environments professionally and experiencing medical scenarios from the patient side of things, the two have both the healthcare experience and interpersonal skills to ensure Emediate Cure locations treat patients well.
“I have no clue who owns any of the major healthcare options around us. I couldn’t call and get somebody on the phone immediately to voice my complaints or even give feedback that I really enjoyed my care,” Vertin shared.
Centering the expectation for community involvement, personalization and accessible, approachable healthcare creates a culture within the company that supports franchisees, staff, patients and everyone in between.
“35, 40 years ago, my family physician spent so much time with me and even got down on the floor with me as a kid, and we’ve gotten away from that,” Kubinski said. “We want to bring that back. We want patients to feel that community, love and support again.”
How Are Emediate Cure Franchises Staffed?
Staffing an Emediate Cure location can be challenging, especially for franchisees without prior medical experience.
“From start to finish, we are going to be here, and that includes helping franchisees with their contracting and credentialing,” Vertin said.
There are very specific requirements for staffing a medical practice. Every state has different regulations for caregiver qualifications, and there are certain processes that occur within a practice that may require someone with more specialized experience. Depending on state regulations, some Emediate Cure locations can be opened and operated by nurse practitioners, for example, while others will require a physician.
Vertin explained that Emediate Cure sits down with franchisees to evaluate state regulations and ensure credentials are legal and align with state procedures. The brand brings a billing team to the table and has secured relationships with other vendors to ensure that, while these relationships are not mandatory, franchisees have access to the best rates.
For owners with or without previous medical experience, it’s all about hiring the right team. Staff members who interact with patients are crucial to supporting a positive reputation, providing positive experiences for patients to share outside of the office, and ultimately growing the business.
“It’s going to be about that interview,” Vertin said. “What qualities are we looking for, and what answers do potential hires have? Why do they want to work in your urgent care? Do they have a passion for patient care?”
How Much Liquidity Is Required?
The initial investment range to open an Emediate Cure location ranges from $370,000 to $581,000, including a $35,000 franchise fee. Vertin and Kubinski stressed that, while this is a wide range, it is a relatively low barrier to entry compared to other medical franchises, and startup costs do rely heavily on location and staffing requirements.
“There are variables that only you and the market can control,” Vertin said. “If I open a clinic in downtown Chicago, it’s going to cost more than a clinic in a suburb. Can you be staff in your own clinic? That’s one more person you won’t need to hire.”
The co-founders emphasized that the credentials of the owner play a huge role in cost differences. If a nurse practitioner or doctor is looking to open and work at a location, that is one less costly employee position to fill. Alternately, business owners with no healthcare experience will need to hire an entire staff, and this will likely place them on the higher end of the range.
“I don’t feel that you need to be a multimillionaire to get into the urgent care business,” Vertin added. “April and I still are not, but we’re successful and we don’t have to work for anybody else. We get to take the weekends off and be with our families nine times out of 10, and that is success to us.”
The estimated initial investment to purchase an Emediate Cure Quick Care franchise ranges from $370,000 to $581800, including a $35,000 franchise fee. For more information, visit https://www.emediatecure.com/.
About Emediate Cure:
Emediate Cure is a community-based urgent care center providing affordable and accessible healthcare options. Since 2015, Emediate Cure has offered a more personal alternative to corporate-owned practices with its two clinics in the Joliet and Shorewood suburbs of Chicago. By focusing on community and family (both locations are locally and family-owned), Emediate Cure has become a go-to healthcare resource for patients experiencing non-life-threatening illnesses in the area.