ER waiting rooms are stressful places. Nurses are frantic, patients are in pain, and time is ticking by as you wait for assistance.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. If your condition is not life-threatening, both the service and the cost will be much better if you choose to go to an urgent care center. Here are a few reasons urgent care facilities are far better than emergency rooms.
- Convenient Hours
Many facilities offer after hours urgent care because, let?s face it, accidents and emergencies are an around-the-clock phenomenon. Urgent care facilities are open even after your primary care physician has gone home for the night. No appointments are necessary, just walk right in.
- Convenient Locations
When you need quick care, do you feel comfortable driving to a hospital miles away? If you?re in serious pain, you will want to get treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, urgent care facilities have recently popped up all over the place. If you live out in a remote area, chances are the nearest emergency medical center is an urgent care facility, not a big hospital.
- Variety of Services
Urgent care facilities offer a lot more than just emergency services. They also offer family health care, anonymous STD testing for men and women, and routine physicals. Emergency rooms only treat life-threatening or serious injuries.
- Lower Cost
According to the Medical Expenditure Panel, the average ER visitor pays total costs of around $1,318. The mean cost of an ER visit is $614. On the other hand, urgent care services are often much less expensive. In fact, the FAIR Health Consumer Group reported that typical urgent care costs are less than half of those you would pay at the ER for the very same service.
- Insurance Not Required
Many Americans don?t have health insurance, which makes ER visits extremely pricey. Urgent care centers accept patients with or without health insurance, and always charge a fair price for the care received regardless of the insurance situation.
Emergency rooms in hospitals are essential for life-threatening emergencies; however, for less severe health issues, they are rarely worth the cost or the hassle. The mean wait time for the typical ER visitor has reached 58.1 minutes. That?s nearly an hour wait for emergency care. Getting in to see an urgent care physician takes a lot less time and is a lot less stressful.