Urgent care centers represent one of the fastest growing segments in the medical care industry. At the end of 2012, there were nearly 130,000 Americans working in urgent care facilities. Sometimes referred to as “immediate care” facilities, urgent cares offer the public a faster and more affordable emergency care option than hospital emergency rooms.
Although 24 hr urgent care centers are continuing to gain popularity among people who are in need of emergency medical treatment, a lot of folks still go straight to the closest emergency room. Perhaps they do not realize it, but over 20% of all emergency room patients could receive more than adequate medical care from the doctors urgent cares provide.
While urgent care facilities do not have the capability of treating traumatic injuries and conditions, they are fully staffed and equipped to provide x-rays, physicals, immunizations, and free STD testing. Basically, urgent care centers routinely treat patients for fractures, sprains, lacerations, headaches, the flu, and other minor medical conditions.
If you were to ask patients who have sought care via an urgent care facility in the past, they will probably tell you that their biggest advantages are the time and money they saved. The Urgent Care Association of America contents that nearly 60% of urgent care patients are seen by staff within 15 minutes, while 80% of all patients receive treatment in less than an hour. Compared to the typical hospital emergency room, the difference is clear.
Of course, the benefits of urgent care don’t end there. This is because the average urgent care visit costs about 10% of what hospital emergency rooms charge. This makes them ideal patients who are not covered by medical insurance. For those with insurance, urgent cares will accept it, but they will also save them time.
Whether you slip and conk your head, come down with a fever, need a immunization, or suspect that you might need a free STD test, an urgent care facility might be the best place to go. After all, why spend more time and money in an emergency room when you don’t have to? More info like this.