Patients have become accustomed to visiting their doctor for primary care and then going to the hospital for other services like labwork and X-rays. The problem with hospitals is that they typically carry very high fees. Even with insurance, that can raise expenses through consumers due to the deductibles and co-pays associated with these services. Fortunately, there is another alternative available to provide these important services at a discounted price. Urgent care centers are appearing in every town, and they provide everything from minor emergency services to labwork, cheap X-rays, sports physicals and more.
The After-Hours Doctors’ Offices
Urgent care centers think of themselves as the after-hour doctor’s office. When a patient needs immediate treatment like a few stitches, cheap X-rays or they need to be seen after being in an accident, they don’t have to go to the emergency room. They can visit the urgent care to see a board-certified physician and receive quality care at a lower cost.
Treatment for Illnesses
Urgent care centers offer treatment for illnesses like colds, the flu, allergies, rashes and even spider bites. If a patient would normally see their family physician for something but cannot wait for the regular office hours, they can go to the urgent care. This takes the strain off local emergency rooms while also ensuring that people still receive the high quality care they need.
Convenient Test and X-Rays
When the doctor orders an X-ray or blood test, going to the hospital can be time-consuming and expensive. The urgent care offers these services in a convenient setting. Their prices are also more affordable to help patients save on their deductibles.
Help with Minor Injuries
Urgent care centers are not equipped to do major surgery, so someone who’s been in a serious accident should still visit the local hospital. However, they can treat minor traumas, burns, fractures, sprains, cuts and many work-related injuries. If they are not equipped to handle an injury, they can stabilize the patient and call for an ambulance to transport them to the hospital if necessary.
Urgent care facilities also offer other services like sports physicals and DOT physicals. Most facilities are not set up to provide appointments, but the wait times are still shorter than the ER. Additionally, these services are often offered at discounted prices, so people can save money rather than visiting their doctor for these services.
Benefits of the Urgent Care
People who have never stopped in at their neighborhood urgent care may not be aware of all the services they offer. However, urgent care centers offer fantastic benefits to the entire community. Their services are moderately priced to keep them more affordable, and they do accept insurance plans. The wait times are shorter than what you would encounter in the emergency room, and that makes them convenient.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of the local care is that it alleviates congestion in the primary ER. With the less serious cases going to the immediate care center, emergency rooms have more time and resources to focus on serious emergencies and problems. Their prices are also lower, so patients can get the quality services they need for less.
Whether patients are trying to save money on tests and X-rays or they want a convenient place for minor emergencies, the urgent care center is the right choice. Care is more affordable, and patients will still meet with board-certified doctors. The centers are convenient, and they can become an effective part of anyone’s overall health care plan.