A Brief History of Healthcare Franchising and Future Trends

By: Christine Dura

Franchising, in general, has a long history, but healthcare franchising took a while to catch on. People are still discovering the numerous healthcare business opportunities available within healthcare franchising. Franchising started with a few smart entrepreneurs – one of which is still around today. In 1956, H&R became a franchise and today has more than 12,000 offices worldwide.

One of the first entrepreneurs to realize the opportunity in healthcare-related franchising was the founder of the Drug Merchants of America, which eventually became the well-known pharmacy, Rexall. The turnaround from formation to creating a franchise with Rexall was relatively quick, however, not all healthcare business opportunities move so fast. Though additional health-related businesses like Pearl Vision and Miracle-Ear eventually became franchises, they were formed decades before that opportunity arose.

What franchises like Pearl Vision and Miracle-Ear and pharmacies had in common were that they learned how to productize their offerings. As an example, due to various regulations in the healthcare industry, Pearl Vision had to focus on the sales of glasses and accessories to make a profit as a franchise – which turned out to be very successful. However, during the ‘90s another type of healthcare franchise began to emerge. An increasing unmet need has provided a wealth of healthcare business opportunities in healthcare franchising. Franchises offering in-home elderly care started popping up everywhere to satisfy the demand of an aging population.

The most current form of healthcare franchising seeing a wealth of opportunity is franchising for medical services. The issues that the current form of healthcare franchising has and is tackling is regulations and red tape. As a benefit to healthcare providers, healthcare franchises can figure out the red tape to allow providers to do what they are focused on doing – taking care of patients – instead of bearing the burden of a private practice. Healthcare franchises, like those offering urgent care services, are continuing to boom as consumers demand quick, affordable, and convenient care.

Because consumers are demanding quality healthcare on their terms and at an affordable price, healthcare business opportunities for franchising are abundant. The future of healthcare franchising only looks to expand over the coming years. One of the biggest drivers of new business opportunities is cost. As we currently have an aging population, the demand for healthcare is at an all-time high. In the United States alone, healthcare costs are nearly $3 trillion per year. Because of the high demand, healthcare operations that can provide quality care in a quick and efficient manner will be mostly likely to succeed. The healthcare franchise is cut out to do just that. Because of built-in systems, healthcare franchises can process patients efficiently and with reduced cost.

Healthcare franchises offer a multitude of healthcare business opportunities that can not only benefit entrepreneurs but the public at large. These franchises offer healthcare providers the opportunity to treat patients without the overarching responsibility of running a private practice. And, by having access to quick, quality care when they need it, consumers will add to the success of healthcare franchises across the country and world.

OrthoNOW is the first and only Orthopedic franchise. Contact Christine Dura at Christine@orthonowcare.com for more information about franchise opportunities.

Christine has over 25 years of quantifiable executive management and franchise related leadership experience within the US and internationally with notable franchise startups in the service, technology, retail, food, health and wellness, financial service, medical care, technology and professional services.   As a Senior Franchise Executive and Entrepreneur, Ms. Dura has been both an individual contributor and has successfully led world-class teams.

Ms. Dura excels at partnering with all core business operations to significantly increase the company’s foot print, expand market share, and generate sustainable revenue and EBIT gains.  Her proven successes, combined with her Master Degree in Training and Development, have shaped Ms. Dura’s uncanny ability to identify opportunities, build mutually rewarding partnerships and produce remarkable results. 

In addition, as a four-time Master and Unit Franchise Owner, Ms. Dura is in a very unique position to leverage her experiences and reputation at all levels in franchising along with her vast personal and professional investor network to drive immediate and long term results.   As OrthoNOW’s Chief Development Officer her role is to identify critical gaps in franchise growth and implement strategies to drive results. Her unique background allows her to leverage past experiences and solid reputation to spearhead OrthoNOW’s national expansion plans.

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