Published on May 6th, 2017 | by Home and Family0
Urgent Care Centers Offer a Less Expensive Option for Health Care
This has happened to most of us. It is the weekend or after hours and illness or injury strikes. When that happens, whether the problem is stomach pain or a minor injury, you may not want to wait until your doctor’s office opens but do not really need a trip to the emergency room. That is where urgent care centers some into play.
Urgent care centers were first started to meet a need. A group of emergency room physicians got together and opened the first urgent care centers. Since then, their numbers have sky rocketed. More and more are opening up all over the nation. The field is rapidly expanding. There are about 20,000 doctors who practice urgent care medicine. This is an important specialty that is widely recognized.
Today, there are about 9,300 walk in clinics and stand alone urgent care centers located throughout the United States. Each year that number grows by between 50 and 100.
The wait time is another reason to go to an urgent care center for your stomach pain, itchy eyes, sore throats or small lacerations. At about 60% of the centers nationwide, the wait time to be seen by a medical professional is less than 15 minutes. Many patients find they are in and out of the of the centers in under an hour.
Insurance companies have also joined the urgent care center bandwagon. It is no secret that treatment at the emergency room is the most expensive place to get care. The reason for this is simple. Getting treatment at an urgent care center is more cost effective. The typical reimbursement for a visit to the hospital emergency room is $302. When you compare that to the $103 that is generally paid for a visit to the local urgent care center.
There are also centers open most of the time. When you have stomach pain, you can receive treatment pretty much every day. It has been estimated that about 97% of all urgent care centers are open seven days a week. As of 2014, about 99% are open at least four hours each day.
The need is growing. Over the course of the last several years, at least two dozen rural hospitals have been forced to close down. Millman looked into visits to the emergency room. They found that anywhere between 44 and 65% of all visits to emergency rooms could actually be treated in urgent care centers.
There are times when a trip to the emergency room is warranted. Anytime you are wondering what to do about chest pain, you should go go to the emergency room. Any visit that results in an admission to the hospital needs to happen in the emergency room. The good news is that when you arrive at the best urgent care centers, the staff there can evaluate your medical condition and let you know if you need to be seen in the emergency room.
Going to the emergency room is a stressful experience. It can take hours to be seen by a medical professional. When you have stomach pain, you may not want to deal with all of that. This is where you can benefit from receiving your care at the local urgent care center. Many let you book an appointment online but you can walk in and be seen quickly and without the hassle of going to the emergency room.
So the next time you fall on the basketball court or find yourself suffering from stomach pain,
you should talk to your health insurance company to see what your options are. You may be surprised to find that you have more options than you think for your care.