Of all the goods and services offered by franchises–giant pretzels, pest control, elliptical trainers–the most important is probably the one that goes least noticed: healthcare. In fact, many patients have visited a healthcare franchise without even realizing it! With the rising cost of healthcare and the millions of people expected to seek treatment under the Affordable Care Act, physicians, hospital systems and enterprising businesspeople have been searching for faster, more efficient and more affordable ways to deliver quality service.

There’s a real demand today for high-quality, moderate-cost healthcare. Another factor to consider? The aging population of Baby Boomers is adding stress to the healthcare system and will take up a greater percentage of medical resources over the next few decades. That means the ability to serve more patients with fewer overhead costs will become a critical challenge for medical practitioners. If you look at the growing population and demographics, there aren’t enough physicians to cover people who need healthcare.

The benefits for patients extend to their wallets, too. If someone without insurance comes into your medical franchise business to see a provider and have an X-ray, it will probably cost $300–a bit more if they need an MRI or a cast. The hospital-affiliated urgent care down the street is four times that just for the assessment. The patient will have to finance $1,200 or put it on their credit card.

Most medical franchisees are businesspeople who hire physicians and other medical staff to provide services. For the medical workers, there appears to be no stigma in being associated with a franchise. In fact, as doctors begin to understand the advantages of franchising–most significant, the reduction in paperwork and managerial duties–they are seeking jobs at franchise concepts.