The Best (and Most Common) Reasons to Visit an Urgent Care Clinic
According to U.S News, the number one reason why patients go to urgent care is to diagnose respiratory infections (colds, bronchitis and sinus infections). Urgent care clinics have risen in popularity since their humble beginning in the 1970s, accounting for nearly 20% of all primary care visits in the United States.
That number may seem astonishing, but industry reports show that these walk-in friendly clinics show no sign of slowing down. In 2015 there were just under 7000 urgent care centers in the U.S – now there are nearly 7,600 of them. But why exactly are urgent care centers so popular and why are so many springing up? Read on to discover the five most common reasons to visit an urgent care clinic.
Reason 1: Walk-Ins are Always Welcome
The busy lifestyle of modern day society is a nonstop rush from point A to point B. A lifestyle that rarely affords the luxury of setting (and waiting for) an appointment. Fortunately, there is finally a healthcare alternative that can keep up with this “go-go-go” mentality. This alternative comes in the form of urgent care clinics – like the ones that are part of the UrgentMED Network – that don’t require appointments to see a doctor.
In addition to the convenience of bypassing any scheduling headaches, urgent care clinics typically have short wait times that are under an hour. In fact, the majority of UrgentMED Network patients have a turnaround time of 30 minutes. Urgent care centers make it possible to go to the doctor on your lunch break.
Reason 2: Urgent Care Clinics have Extended Hours
Taking time off work for a doctor’s appointment is disruptive and, thankfully, has become less necessary. Urgent care clinics typically operate during times when doctor’s offices are closed (evenings, weekends, and holidays). Those that are part of the UrgentMED Network are open seven days a week and late into the evenings.
These conveniently extended hours make urgent care clinics the ideal facilities to handle time-sensitive health conditions. Visit an urgent care center for treatment of a burn, rash, or sudden fever, to renew prescriptions or diagnose conditions as quickly as the symptoms occur.
Reason 3: Visiting the Emergency Room is Too Expensive
According to the British Medical Journal, 40% of visits to the emergency room don’t actually require emergency care. That means that a significant number of ER patients are unnecessarily spending around $1200 to $2100 (the average range of costs for an ER visit, which is nearly 24 times as expensive as the average urgent care clinic visit). Going to urgent care is preferred over the ER when it is not a life-threatening medical emergency.
Reason 4: On-Demand Medical Services
Urgent care clinics also boast licensed physicians that can perform more than just routine examinations. While urgent care clinics were originally simple facilities that dealt with colds, flu, and the like, they have since adapted and evolved to fulfill many more advanced medical needs.
The clinics of the UrgentMED Network offer a wide variety of services. They are equipped to provide x-rays, minor surgery, and other procedures. Additionally, the clinics within the UrgentMED Network feature in-house medical laboratories for on-site testing and faster results, as well as in-house medications which can provide prescriptions under the same roof where they are prescribed.
Reason 5: Urgent Care Clinics Accept Most Insurances
One would imagine that such convenient medical care would come at a steep cost, but urgent care clinics have continually proven themselves to be an affordable way to see a doctor on short notice. This is largely due to urgent care clinics accepting a wide arrange of insurance providers. The clinics in the UrgentMED Network accept over 20 national and California-based insurance providers.
When to Visit Urgent Care
Urgent care clinics have evolved from their simple beginnings to fill a much-needed gap between primary physician availability and the costly emergency room. Convenience, affordability, and efficiency make up the core reasons to visit an urgent care clinic, but the number one reason to go to urgent care is to stay in control of your health and well-being. If you are feeling sick and need a doctor at a moment’s notice in the Southern California area, visit any of the UrgentMED Network’s 14 locations to find the closest urgent care center to you and start feeling better today.