What is Urgent Care?

urgent-careWhen it comes to getting the best possible care from a physician, gone are the days when people were forced to solely rely on going to the emergency room. With urgent care facilities popping up in major cities and towns nationwide, seeing a quality doctor for an emergency service is easier than it ever was before. Before going to an urgent care facility, it is important to understand what services they provide and how a patient can be charged for these services.

What is Urgent Care?

The best way to describe an UC facility is to equate it with a walk-in clinic. However, it is a walk-in clinic that provides emergency and ambulatory care. The medical staff treats injuries and illnesses that require instant or immediate care. Much different than a convenient care facility, a UC facility can treat a wide variety of conditions on site that a convenient care facility cannot normally treat. Furthermore, these facilities are usually open from 8:00 am to well after 7:00 pm.

Advantage of UC vs. Traditional ER

Any condition that is urgent in nature but not life threatening can easily be treated more efficiently at an urgent care center. Additionally, when a patient goes to a UC facility, the wait time is less than 30 minutes which is highly unlikely when to happen at the local emergency room. Another perk of using the services at an UC facility is that the costs are much less. For instance, when it comes to billing, an UC facility is reimbursed on comparable level of general practice physicians whereas an emergency room visit can easily charge an insurance company upwards of $500 plus. In a sense this means that in the long run, a patient will be billed less for the visit should they use a UC facility.

A Doctor's Take

Known as a "doc-in-a-box", UC facilities are not entirely favorable in the minds of family care physicians. Many doctors tend to view these facilities as the next hot ticket - or a fad. However, despite how many doctors view this, while some UC facilities are chains, others are actually the office of a physician. Furthermore, more and more hospitals are buying UC franchises so that they can better provide for their patients.

The truth is that UC facilities have been in existence in the United States since the 1970s. The access that patients have to the medical services offered is something that most patients would deem positive. Not to mention, the average wait time in any UC facility is brief. Unlike a hospital emergency room, patients are not forced to wait for hours to be triaged or seen by the doctor on duty. UC facilities are more apt to have several levels of medical staff. For instance when a patient comes in they are greeted by the medical assistant who gets their insurance information and types in the illness or injury that they want to be seen about. Soon after a nurse will bring the patient in the back to be triaged and then she or he will place them in a room where they will wait for the doctor.

UC facilities are actually more convenient for the majority of patients. The services provided are comparable to that of the local emergency room when it comes to minor injuries and illnesses.

If you are interested in learning more about these facilities, go to Midwest Express Clinic.

If you have any questions, please ask below!