It is Friday evening and you are looking forward to your weekend full of plans. Yet, come Saturday morning and your previous night of sniffling has turned into a full blown cold. You are running a fever, your body is chilled, and you feel overly fatigued. You are sure that they are symptoms of a common cold, especially since it has been making its rounds in your office the previous week. But, you want to be sure and speak with a physician. However, your primary physician?s office is closed and you have to work on Monday, when they finally reopen. What do you do? Do you head to the local emergency department of your hospital or do you visit a nearby urgent care center?
What is urgent care?
Urgent care is a multicare medical model that is quickly growing around the country. It is the perfect alternative between the emergency room and the primary physician?s office. They have longer business hours and you do not have to make an appointment. The urgent care model is set up similar to the regular physician?s office and not like the emergency room. An estimated 3 million patient?s visit urgent care centers each week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Most cities, including Mill Creek urgent care, have at least one urgent care center to visit.
What types of medical conditions are appropriate for urgent care?
The most common question regarding urgent care centers is what type of medical conditions they treat. The most common diagnosis in an urgent care center was upper respiratory condition, and the most common procedure was wound repair in 2012. The cold associated symptoms described earlier are a common cause for a visit to the local, Covington urgent care center. Other medical concerns include pediatric questions, ankle sprains, and lower back pain.
How does the urgent care model work?
If urgent care centers operate similar to a traditional physician?s office, but does not take appointments, how does it work? Urgent care centers do not require appointments. They work simply on a walk in basis. The patient visits their local, preferred center and signs in. As soon as a physician is available, they are taken to a traditional exam room. Many urgent care centers have access to diagnostic tools, including Xrays. Approximately 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week. Patients are likely to experience less of a wait time and more individualized care than when compared to a local emergency department center.
Is it pricey?
Patients suffering from cold and flu symptoms may avoid the emergency room, simply because of cost. Even with insurance coverage, a visit to the local emergency room can cost a patient hundreds of dollars out of pocket. If the patient does not have insurance, that number can quickly make it into the thousands. Urgent care centers, although a little more expensive than traditional physicians? offices, are more affordable than emergency departments. Patients may be required to pay a little more out of pocket, but the cost is usually affordable to both those with and those without insurance.
For some reason, it seems that all colds and injuries occur after normal medical business hours. Visiting the emergency room at the local hospital is not always the best option, as it can be expensive and extremely time consuming. Urgent care centers are a great multicare model. Patients can receive the medical care they need, in a more convenient time and more affordable price.