Urgent Care Centers Combine the Best of Both Medical Models

Urgent care center

Are you aware of the new trend in medical care? By now, you have probably seen the words urgent care across local pharmacies, retailers, and even in standalone buildings. What is urgent care? Think of an urgent care clinic as a mix between your local physician?s office and the local hospital emergency room. The advanced urgent care setting has many advantages over both alternative medical models.


If you carry health insurance, you might not pay too much attention to what you are paying for medical care. However, these numbers are actually very important. Things like co pays and deductibles will differ across each of these medical models. Your physician?s office is likely to request the lowest copayment. However, when an emergency occurs and you are unable to schedule an appointment, you will find that emergency room rates and copayments are much higher than that of advanced urgent care. The specific copayments are set by your insurance provider, but you can usually save a significant amount of money by choosing advanced urgent care for your emergency medical care needs.

Time spent waiting

Although it might seem like you spend many minutes waiting in your primary physician?s office, the reason for the visit is rarely an emergency. Long wait times can be more troublesome in hospital emergency rooms. When you have a medical emergency, you want to be seen immediately. You will find that one of the best advantages of urgent care centers is the reduction in time spent waiting. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid level provider, and 65% have a physician on site at all times.

Hours of availability

Many people are forced to visit their local emergency room, simply because of the time of day or night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under half (48%) of all adult ER patients who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital sought treatment at the ER because their physicians? offices were closed. After hours urgent care centers solve this problem. They often have extended hours, more convenient than your physician?s office. In fact, more than 66% of urgent care centers open prior to 9AM during the week, with significant portions doing so on Saturday (45.7%) and Sunday (35.1%). Most of them also have extended hours into the evenings.

Qualifications of medical care

Another common reason to visit the local emergency room is because your primary physician? office does not have the qualifications to handle something. For example, someone who fractures their ankle is likely to head right to the emergency room, rather than scheduling an appointment with their physician. Most primary physician?s offices do not have testing or other diagnostic tools available for fractures. They are likely to schedule you with a specialist, which is often somewhere in the hospital. When you immediately visit the hospital, you can receive the testing and treatment that you need, all at once. Urgent care centers have greater medical capabilities, similar to that of emergency rooms. In many cases, they can even treat fractures.

When you suffer an injury or illness, you have to make a medical care decision. Will you schedule an appointment with your primary physician? Will you head to the local emergency room for immediate treatment? What if you have another option, an option that encompassed all of the benefits of each of these medical models into one? Urgent care centers tend to be more cost effective, provide more advanced of medical care services, have less wait times, and are open for extended hours. Before you run to the local emergency room and wait for hours, consider visiting your local advanced urgent care center.

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