This article was published in Benzinga on October 13, 2021. Read the article here.

The next time you go to the doctor’s office for a checkup, provided you even go in person, you may be treated by a nurse practitioner rather than a doctor. That’s because the number of nurse practitioners has rapidly increased over the past decade, and that increase has sped up during the course of the pandemic.

In the U.S., there are currently 325,000 nurse practitioners, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. This is an astounding number when you consider that there were less than 91,000 nurse practitioners in 2010. As the number of doctors continues to decrease, the need for primary care has risen. Nurse practitioners are increasingly filling the widening void.

The pandemic also spurred the adoption of telemedicine. With patients and medical professionals alike becoming more comfortable using video conferencing to facilitate checkups and appointments. Consequently, the outlook for the telemedicine market is quite positive with some estimates placing the market size at more than $25.9 billion by 2027.

The shifting landscape of healthcare is being met with shifting patient views as well. Sentiment around the healthcare experience has been dropping, and recently more than 81% of patients surveyed said that they were not satisfied with their experiences. Among their top grievances was a lack of personalized care and a lack of convenience.

Innovation in a Legacy Industry

Luckily for patients, Mitesco Inc. MITI +0.9% (Get Free Alerts for MITI) is on a mission to change the way healthcare is provided by increasing the quality of care, reducing costs, and increasing patient convenience. Unlike larger players such as HCA Healthcare Inc. HCA +0.37%, Mitesco is taking a targeted approach to capitalize on the growing consumerization of healthcare — specifically primary care.

Mitesco launched its Good Clinic brand in 2020 in Minneapolis and has been expanding ever since. In fact, the company recently announced a new clinic in the St. Louis Park suburb of Minneapolis, which opened its doors on Sept. 27.

The Good Clinic uses the cost-effective nurse practitioner clinic model to bring personalized primary and preventative care to its patients at a lower cost. Filling the gap between urgent care-type ready health and full concierge medicine, The Good Clinic combines telehealth capabilities and personalized service to not only address primary care needs but also provide ongoing wellness planning to achieve a patient’s health goals.

With three clinics under its belt, Mitesco has the audacious goal of opening 50 new clinics over the next three years. The company hopes to capitalize on the growing acceptance of nurse practitioners as primary care providers and the convenience-driven trend of telemedicine to position itself as a competitively priced yet convenient primary care option for patients nationwide.