Have you ever visited a walk in clinic? It’s entirely possible you’ve never even given the walk in clinics in your area a second thought. They’re the type of medical infrastructure that you don’t know that you should know about until you need to know about it. However, walk in medical clinics serve a very important part of the general health and well being of the community.
You might not need to visit a walk in clinic today or tomorrow, or maybe you never will, but they still benefit you. Consider the ways that your local walk in medical clinic supports the community you live in:
Four Benefits of Having a Walk In Clinic in Your Area
- Reducing the Overcrowding of Emergency Rooms
Emergency rooms serve a critical part in the medical infrastructure, but they have one job that no other office or clinic is designed for: Treating life threatening situations. When a patient is suffering from chest pains that could be a heart attack, this is what the emergency room is meant for. When a patient is bleeding profusely, this is the purpose of the emergency room. When a patient suffered a severe head or neck injury, this is point of the emergency room.
However, sometimes, the emergency room resources are tied up with treatments that are not emergencies at all, only because the patient needs to be treated quickly and their primary care doctor is not available. When the patient has an ear infection that needs a round of antibiotics, this is not an emergency. When the patient has pink eye and needs the ointment right away, this is not an emergency. They need to be treated the same day, but taking them to the emergency room ties up the staff and resources from saving lives. On the other hand, walk in clinics can take those non-emergency situations and treat them on the spot, leaving the ER open to do its one job, treat life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
- Making Medical Care Available on Nights and Weekends
Most primary care physicians are only open to take appointments Monday through Friday during business hours. If you work or go to school, getting the medical care you need in this time frame that you’re available is not possible with your regular physician.
Meanwhile, most walk in clinics are open for extended hours, including the weekends. This allows everyone to have access to the routine checkups, and the ongoing treatments they need.
Additionally, sometimes your primary care physician might require a few weeks in order to fit you in. If you have a medical need, that’s not always possible. On the other hand, as the name suggests, walk in clinics offer medical treatment on a walk in basis.
- Reducing the Cost of Medical Care
When you get medical treatment at an emergency room, the cost of care might leave you with a hefty bill. The hospital surcharges make even the cost of a single ibuprofen equal to $10 or $20. You could go to the ER for a relatively simple issue, and walk out with a bill in the thousands.
Meanwhile, visiting a walk in clinic is often similar in cost to going to your own doctor. In fact, some studies show that the cost of visiting a walk in clinic is $505 less than the cost of going to the emergency room for the exact same treatment.
On top of that, some health insurance plans will not pay for an emergency room visit for a health issue that was not an emergency, leaving you to foot the whole bill yourself. On the other hand, many insurance providers treat walk in clinics the same as visiting your own doctor in the coding, so you’re only subject to your regular copay. Having a walk in clinic in your area gives you less expensive access to medical care, even when your regular doctor can’t help you.
- Benefiting Employers in the Community
Most walk in clinics provide pre-employment services to the local businesses, from drug screens to pre-employment physicals. This is important for businesses who need to fill positions quickly, as walk in clinics are able to accommodate these visits on the spot, even after-hours, if the new employee can only be seen on a night or weekend.
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