Over the last few years, the average American has likely seen a number of urgent care locations appear in their community, offering affordable medical car for a variety of non-life-threatening conditions. These urgent care clinics, which may be located in medical plazas or even retail centers, typically have extended hours and short waiting times, making them a convenient option in the event of an illness or injury. But how are these medical walk in clinics affecting the healthcare industry as a whole?
Healthcare in the United States has long been hampered by two problems: the rising cost of medical care and a shortage of medical professionals and facilities capable of delivering needed treatment. According to many industry experts, these problems were only compounded by recent reforms, which increased the number of patients able to pay for medical care. With understaffed facilities now struggling with overwhelming volumes of patients, many communities have found a solution by adding urgent care clinics: with an estimated 20,000 doctors practicing urgent care medicine in the U.S., patients often find that they are treated faster than they would have been at a local doctors office or hospital. Moreover, by redirecting patients with less serious injuries and illnesses to urgent care locations, other medical centers have fewer cases to treat, allowing them to focus their resources where they are needed most.
Central Massachusetts is one of the most recent areas to benefit from these medical clinics, with various companies planning to open at least four more urgent care locations in the coming year. Already, residents say that urgent care facilities have been able to greatly reduce the amount of money they spend on medical care, as trips to urgent care centers are often significantly cheaper than trips to the emergency room. The convenience of accessing treatment has also improved, with many urgent care facilities able to evaluate a patient and prescribe necessary medication in the same visit. Could you and your community benefit from visiting urgent care locations in your area? Visit today and find out. See this reference for more.