Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 97
AMERICAN FAMILY CARE
and I had the opportunity to take really good business people and healthcare people, and put them together to
create something that was value-added to our healthcare system," he explains. "There are a lot of people who
want to do a freestanding ER, but they
aren't adding anything. AFC is distinct, unique and has a strong value
proposition for better healthcare and
reduced healthcare costs. That's why
I'm doing it."
AFC recently partnered with Bon
Secours Health System in South Carolina, which purchased four existing
AFC franchise units and bought the
right to build five more.
The joint venture between AFC
franchisees and Bon Secours Health
System is beneficial because it provides additional operational capabilities, experience and guidance with a
primary care network.
"Hospitals have notoriously not
been very good at running physician
practices or urgent cares," Irwin
notes. "Buying AFC franchises allows them a primary care network
with someone who knows what they
are doing. For us, it's growth."
AFC is arguably the leading urgent care
operation in the country and focuses on
expanding its national footprint.
Moving forward, AFC plans to continue its company-owned organic
growth and expects its franchise model to grow much faster.
The company's ultimate goal is
to offer its care on a nationwide and
even worldwide basis. AFC is in discussions to enter different regions in
the world: China, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Scandinavia.
AFC clinics are located in 26 states,
providing primary and urgent care for
illness or injuries.
"We are very interested in franchising abroad," Irwin says. "Accessible
healthcare is hard to get anywhere
in the world. "We want to continue
to grow that and continue to grow as
many services as we can offer to franchisees that add value, including purchasing and credentialing in addition
to the basics of site selection and construction. One of our goals is to handle claims and receivables, and that's
a big goal of ours to accomplish."
AFC has positioned itself to be the
leading healthcare franchise. "Our
goal is to continue building a brand
and one of the best things we do is that
patients understand that regardless
of who is in the building, they will get
constant, high-quality and economical care," Irwin says.
"We are a widely known and admired brand in healthcare doing
something that's never been done -
branding healthcare on a national basis. There is nothing accidental about
this and we have positioned ourselves
for it. We are terribly excited and fully
expect our operation to continue to