The American healthcare system has undergone a variety of changes over the past few decades. Of these changes, the urgent care movement first started in the 1970s in the U.S. has gained momentum around the globe as one of the newest and most popular ways to receive medical treatment. Around three million patients visit the 6,800 urgent care clinics across the nation every week, here are four good reasons Why I choose an urgent care walk in clinic near me for medical coverage.
A recent survey conducted by the Urgent Care Association of America found that 57% of patients had a wait of 15 minutes or less at urgent care centers; nearly 80% of all visits took a total time of an hour or less to complete. Many patients are forced to go to the emergency room to receive fast care, this means that many patients are stuck with an unfortunate bill as well.
Urgent care centers offer a variety of medical services that may be able to nearly match that of an emergency room. Most centers offer fracture care, fluid transfusions, and can even prescribe medication. This is because nearly two-thirds of all urgent care centers employ a mix of physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Up to 65% of centers have at least one on-site physician at all times and many facilities are owned by physicians or groups of physicians.
The main issue with doctors offices is the fact that they close; only 29% of primary care doctors have some kind of after-hours coverage. Again, these patients have to look elsewhere to find medical care, which unjustly sticks them with a bill they may not be able to afford. A recent survey found that nearly half of those adult emergency room patients who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital found health care in the emergency rom because their physician’s office was closed.
A Cheaper Alternative
Finally, one of the best reasons I go to an urgent care walk in clinic near me is simply due to finances. A study done in 2010 by the Rand Corporation found that nearly one out of every five hospital visits could have been treated at an urgent care clinic, saving around $4.4 billion annually on health-care costs.