Make Time for Your Medical Needs by Choosing Urgent Care
It’s recommended that the average adult see a physician once annually for a check-up. Of course, the stereotypical American adult works a 9 to 5 job, which is inconveniently when the vast majority of doctors’ offices are actually open.
Additionally, 33 million Americans still lacked health insurance as of 2014, which is a whole issue within itself. Both of these scenarios lead to many people ignoring their routine check-ups. When these people do need medical attention, many make the decision to go to the Emergency Room for non-emergency treatment.
About 110 million visits to the ER are made each year, meaning that Americans spend an astronomical amount of money on after-hours patient care. Emergency room visits can be pricey. In fact, we’ll go even further: ER visits are always pricey. On average, a visit to the ER costs around $1,500 without health insurance. With insurance, the copay can still take a toll your wallet.
While few primary care physicians offer after-hours care, the ER seems to be a logical choice in treating an affliction. What many don’t know is that many urgent care facilities have the same capabilities as emergency departments for a small fraction of the cost. The average urgent care visit costs less than $150 — 10% less than the same care in an emergency department. A study in 2010 found that 20% of ER visits could have been easily treated at a walk in urgent care patient center, which could have saved the American public millions of dollars on healthcare costs.
Almost half of adult ER patients who were not sick enough to be admitted to a hospital sought treatment at the ER because their doctors’ offices were closed. Walk in patient centers prevent these unnecessary trips. Plus, they discourage patients with serious injuries or illnesses from waiting for an appointment with their primary care doctors.
Many of these walk in clinics, including AFC/Doctors Express, offer routine lab work, such as flu and STD tests. The best walk in clinics can also dispense prescriptions for common, non-chronic ailments on-site, saving patients another trip to the pharmacy and the stress of scheduling a doctor’s appointment that fits their schedule. The patients are usually seen in less than 15 minutes, with only a small portion of wait times exceeding an hour, as opposed to an indefinite amount of time in an ER waiting room.