All too often Americans find that they are faced with relatively minor medical issues that, nonetheless, require immediate medical care. However, it can be difficult to get a doctor’s appointment quickly. Thus, with no other options available, Americans are forced to head to hospital emergency rooms for treatment. Fortunately, there is now an alternative to waiting for a doctor’s appointment or going to the emergency room.
Urgent care centers offer medical care, on a walk in basis, for minor ailments not serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room, but which, nonetheless, require urgent medical care. Many centers even provide 24 Hr urgent care. Today, there are more than 8,000 urgent care facilities in the United States.
Urgent care offers many advantages over going to the emergency room. Waiting times are significantly shorter at urgent care centers than at an emergency room, with most patients being seen in less than 20 minutes. They are also considerably less expensive. One study found that the cost of an urgent care visit averaged $150, while an emergency room visit costs $1,500 on average. Because one in five emergency room visits are for conditions that could have been treated at an urgent care facility, a recent study found that $4.4 billion dollars is being wasted on necessary emergency room visits.
Indeed, one of the reasons that urgent care facilities are becoming more and more popular is that emergency rooms and doctor’s offices are becoming increasingly more burdened. This has lead to a decrease in the level of service, and an increase in waiting times at both of these types of facilities.
Next time you are faced with a medical emergency that is not life threatening, consider going to an urgent care facility. Remember that many centers offer 24 Hr urgent care. To find urgent care centers near you, look online or in the yellow pages. More info like this.