Print Posted on 12/15/2016 in Urgent Care

Benefits Of Urgent Care

  • No Appointments Needed
  • Open Weekends & Off Hours
  • Lower cost compared to ER visits
  • Onsite Lab & X-Ray Services
  • Most Insurances Accepted

Unlike Primary care Physicians, you do not need an appointment to seek treatment at an urgent care center. They are walk-in medical clinics but are different from the retail clinics you find at grocery stores and pharmacies. The urgent care centers will always have onsite lab services, EKG and X-Ray.

The fact that you don’t need appointments make these centers the best options when you need medical help for non-emergency issues and your PCP is not able to accommodate you in their schedule. Also the wait time at these centers is less when compared to an Emergency Room visit.

Another aspect of Urgent Care Facility that makes it an even more attractive option is its extended timings. These centers are open even after 5 PM. The offices of the PCPs generally follow normal business hours but these centers are usually open till 8 or 9 PM. They are open 365 days a year – even on weekends and holidays, which is very useful as the doctors’ offices are closed during these days.  These factors make Urgent Care Clinics a viable option when you need medical help at these odd hours or when you are out of town and cannot reach your PCP.  For example, if you developed a bad earache over the weekend, you could head to the nearest urgent care facility to get it checked.  

A visit to an Urgent Care Clinic costs less than an ER visit.  According to an white paper released by Urgent Care Association of America, for same diagnosis, the cost difference between Urgent Care Center and Emergency Rooms is high, ranges between $228‐583. CDC estimated that the Emergency department has about 31.64 million non-emergency visits per year. With these numbers, about 7.22 ‐ 18.45 billion dollars can be saved annually by choosing UCCs over ERs for non-ER visits.

Most insurance companies cover the visit to Urgent Cares. They are encouraging the use of Urgent Cares by setting the co-pays for urgent care centers lower than that required for ER visits if you are not admitted to the hospital. This benefits the patient and the insurer – reduces the wait time for the patient and reduces the insurer’s cost.

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