1851 Franchise: What inspired you to start Emediate Cure?
April Kubinski: We were working in the ER, and we were constantly seeing patients waiting long hours for things that could have been handled quickly outside of the ER. And, to be honest, we were working for ERs that didn’t really care about the patients — patients were just numbers. We didn’t like that and we knew there was a better way. We knew there was a way to treat patients like people, and more than that, treat them like you would your neighbors. That’s why we designed Emediate Cure to really integrate with its community.
Amy Vertin: We saw the part of the ER that nobody wants to experience. On top of that, we were working in other urgent care facilities and taking on 100 things that were not necessarily part of our job description. We realized we were growing someone else’s business for them and commuting an hour away from our homes, when at the same time, our own community needed a good urgent care location that wasn’t affiliated with a hospital. What people don’t realize is that a lot of hospital urgent cares keep their services minimal so they can refer you to the ER. It’s a money game — the hospitals feed the ERs.
1851: What makes Emediate Cure stand out in the healthcare segment?
Kubinski: We believe every patient should have a primary care provider, but they’re not always available right when you need them. If you have a UTI, you might have to wait three months to see a doctor. During COVID, every single primary care provider closed their offices. We decided it was imperative that we keep our doors open at a time when everyone was closed or providing telehealth-only appointments. That alone shows how we are different from other healthcare providers. We want to be here — to be available — for our patients, for whatever they need, right when they need it.
Vertin: We’re here to serve the community, and we look at each patient as a whole person — not just a discrete injury or illness. A patient might come in for pain in their elbow, but while they are in our care I am also going to look at their blood pressure to get the full picture. We take a global look at our patients.
1851: What are some of the milestones in your brand’s history?
Kubinski: In 2015, we opened our first location in Shorewood, and in 2019 we opened our second location in Joliet. Now, in 2021, we’ve launched our franchise opportunity.
1851: Who is the typical Emediate Cure customer?
Vertin: One thing that’s unique about our urgent care is that we don’t have a typical patient. Our patients are elderly, children, men, women — just a variety of people. For that reason, we emphasize that we’re available in the evenings and on the weekends, since those are factors that appeal to everyone.
And importantly, we serve people who are on public aid. We were the first urgent care in our area that accepted Medicaid. We serve people without insurance who are on self pay in addition to patients with insurance. We are a heavily insured practice. 80 to 85% of our patients have insurance, and we accept it, but often their plans are ridiculous, with $10,000 deductibles. In the end, many of our patients are savvy shoppers who would rather pay $100 as opposed to receiving an enormous bill for the services that their insurance won’t cover. Despite having health insurance, many people are still essentially paying out of pocket.
1851: What does the ideal Emediate Cure franchisee look like?
Kubinski: One of the big things we’re looking for is somebody who wants to care for their own community and ideally, someone who wants to open a clinic in their own neighborhood. I truly think part of the reason we’ve been so successful is because we live in the communities that we service and we care about our patients. We run into our patients at grocery stores and around town. We go to a lot of community events, and it’s really rewarding to have that kind of connection with the people we serve.
Vertin: Franchisees with Emediate Cure might be experienced business owners, but we’re specifically looking for physicians and nurse practitioners. Our franchisees don’t need a business background, but they do have to be driven and hardworking. They have to have that hunger to get patients in the door.
1851: What’s next for Emediate Cure?
Kubinski: We are finalizing our franchise program, and we plan to start growing into new markets this year and next.
1851: What areas are you targeting first?
Vertin: We plan to grow out in concentric circles to ensure that every franchise location is well supported. So we’re starting close to our home markets in Illinois. That said, this is an opportunity that is primed for success in just about any market, so if we find the right franchisee who wants to open up an Emediate Cure in their own community and it’s not in one of our immediate target markets, we will absolutely consider it.