When you are in need of immediate health care, there are medical centers that can save you more time and money in comparison to a traditional hospital emergency room or your regular primary care physician. While there is no substitution for a visit to the emergency room for very serious illnesses and injuries, urgent medical care centers can often provide the same treatment for less serious ailments. Employing approximately 129,043 U.S. employees, urgent care centers typically provide immediate healthcare for non life threatening ailments. It is estimated that 35 percent of emergency room visits in the United States could have been resolved faster, and at a lesser price at an urgent care facility.
Urgent care facilities are known as walking clinics, because they see patients immediately without appointments. A walking clinic eliminates the hassle of waiting in an emergency room or scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician. According to a survey by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80% of all urgent care visits are 60 minutes or less. Additionally, it is typically very easy to find urgent care centers near you, as they are located in most American cities and towns.
Not only will visiting these health care facilities help you save time when you are in need of immediate treatment, but they are typically more affordable than an emergency room. Recent research shows that a visit to U.S. urgent care center is 40 to 50 percent less expansive than a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care also accepts patients without healthcare. However, if you do have health care coverage, many urgent care facilities will accept your coverage as payment, too.
On average, between 5 and 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu each year. If you need treatment for ailments such as the flu, strep throat, or even testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases through walking clinics. With approximately 6.8 million bones broken in the U.S. each year, urgent care can provide x-rays and solutions for patients with broken bones as well. While urgent care can not completely replace your primary care physician or a hospital emergency room, it is a convenient option when your regular physician is on vacation or unable to offer a timely appointment. If illness strikes outside of regular office hours, urgent care centers are typically opened 24 hours of the day, and offer an alternative to waiting for hours in a hospital emergency room.