American Family Care Leads the Way in Urgent Care
Urgent care pioneer American Family Care (AFC) is on the road to expansion, with an accessible high-tech, high-touch franchise approach to healthcare that is changing the face of the industry.
AFC, with over 200 clinics and 600 in-network physicians, is the nation's leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine, serving nearly 3 million patients a year. Ranked by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., the Birmingham, Alabama-based brand has pioneered the patient-first business model of non-emergency room urgent care based on the same principles as retailers.
“What separates us from other urgent cares is that we take customer service to heart, with a focus on care – one patient at a time,” says multi-unit franchisee Zikar Maredia, chief executive officer and managing partner of ZAR Ventures, who owns four AFC clinics in Texas. The multi-brand operator also oversees three more locations, operated by two sub-franchisees, as a master franchisee for the brand.
Emergency room physician Dr. Bruce Irwin opened the first AFC Urgent Care location in 1982 to provide a simple and efficient alternative to lengthy and frustrating trips to the ER. With the 2013 acquisition of Doctors Express, and subsequent re-branding, AFC now leads the way in the urgent care business as a unique provider, delivering a comprehensive range of services in an efficient manner.
For Maredia, whose portfolio also includes the Pet Supplies Plus franchise, the entrepreneurial move to AFC was a natural fit. A long-practicing neurophysiologist, Maredia was one of the brand’s first investors to be awarded a master territory for development in the greater Houston area. AFC, he says, is a solid investment.
“American Family Care provides a turnkey model for investors, with or without a medical background,” says Maredia. “Being part of a large and reputable organization like American Family Care, helps with economies of scale and leverage to negotiate best rates with insurance carriers, backed by the leadership of 30-plus years of experience operating a successful urgent care center business.”
Maredia is bullish on the AFC brand, with six more locations planned over the next several years, with two additional sub-franchisee clinics set to open by 2019. He says AFC fills a critical void for communities across the nation, where patients now demand a quick in-and-out experience, at their own convenience.
“American Family Care fills that void by providing the best healthcare, in a kind and caring environment, while at the same time respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at time and locations convenient to the patient,” notes Maredia. “I believe the affordability and convenient hours of urgent care make this a long and viable business for a long time. Also, due to low cost, both insured and non-insured patients can afford urgent care services.”
AFC is also committed to the communities each clinic serves, working with schools, churches, and other organizations that serve the community at large.
“Being part of the community where you can help patients with their healthcare needs gives me a great sense of pride and enjoyment,” says Maredia.
To explore the opportunity to provide the best possible healthcare, visit afcfranchising.com.