Finding doctors after hours is often one of the most difficult tasks for American patients. According to Health Affairs, only about 29 percent of physicians in the United States offer hours beyond typical office hours. This is a relatively small percent when compared to numbers in other countries, which are typically over 90 percent. The use of urgent care centers has become a growing trend that makes it easier for patients to get the care they need outside of normal business hours.
No Appointments Necessary
One of the biggest draws to visiting doctors after hours is the fact there is no need for an appointment. When you are suffering from an illness or other ailment, you could wait days or even weeks before you can get in to see your primary doctor with an appointment. While this might be okay in some situations, others can be resolved more quickly by a visit to an urgent care center, You can even visit urgent care with no insurance and still not find yourself buried in medical debt.
First Come, First Served
It may seem as though an emergency room is first come, first served, and it is in theory. However, they also triage their patients and take care of the more serious, often life-threatening situations before they will handle minor cases. Seeing doctors after hours at an urgent care center will truly put you in a first come, first served situation. This reduces the chances that you will need to sit in a waiting room and suffer from your illness or injury for long periods of time. You will be taken in the order you arrived, allowing you to get the care you need more quickly than you might if you were to head to the emergency room.
When you consider that you will wait less time to see doctors after hours at an urgent care center and you won’t need to wait for an appointment, you will see that you can feel better much more quickly. If you are feeling ill or have been injured, you don’t want to suffer through the pain or discomfort for any longer than necessary. Seeing a doctor or even a nurse practitioner at an urgent care center will allow you to get relief more quickly so you can go back to living your life and feeling more normal again.
Seeing doctors after hours is something that has been around for years, but it has steadily grown in popularity. You no longer need to spend large amounts of money on emergency room visits and spend hours in the waiting room because another situation is more serious than yours. Before you head to the clinic, though, FAIR Health recommends you contact your insurer, if you have one, to make sure the center you will visit is in your network to further reduce your costs.