Low cost urgent care provides an effective alternative to going to the hospital emergency room. Even with the efforts of Obamacare underway, millions of people in America are still uninsured or under-insured. An example are those which do have medical insurance for catastrophic illness with a high deductible to keep the monthly insurance premium at affordable rates. For those individuals without insurance coverage the Pearland Medical Clinic provides excellent low cost urgent care.
Benefits of Low Cost Urgent Care
There are many benefits for urgent care when compared to emergency room visits. Here are our favorites:
1) Lower Costs
According to Debt.org every year over US$18 Billion is wasted by people who go to the hospital emergency room instead of the better option for appropriate treatment at an urgent care facility. This is especially true for the ultra-poor. They show up at emergency rooms because of the policy introduced by President Ronald Reagan of public hospitals not being allowed to turn any patients away. Urgent care visits average less than $100. The same care in a hospital emergency room costs about $900 whether the patients pay for it or not.
2) Shorter Wait Times
When a person has a cold or a flu, do they really want to sit waiting to see a doctor in a hospital emergency room for up to 4 to 6 hours? Hospital emergency rooms do triage on the patients and work on those patients in the most critical condition first. Car accidents and heart attacks are some of the most common immediate responses, as well as shootings, or other life-threatening situations like child poisoning. Urgent care is different because urgent is different from life-threatening emergency response. Urgent care is important and yet all the patients receive treatment with the same level of urgency unless there is an emergency situation like major blood loss or heart attack. Normally when severe emergencies arrive at urgent care facilities they are quickly sent to a nearby hospital emergency room, if they cannot be properly treated at the urgent care facility.
3) Doctor follow-up
Emergency rooms have no provisions for doctor follow-up. A person receives one-time treatment in an emergency room. That is the extent of the care. Urgent care does create am ongoing patient/physician relationship. In urgent care facilities, unlike emergency rooms, follow-up visits, to make sure the person is doing well are common. Also referrals to other primary care physicians are appropriate, if the prognosis is an ongoing condition, which needs continual treatment, such as high blood pressure.
When comparing urgent care to emergency room visits it is clear more awareness is necessary about the options available to patients. As an example, a cold or flu, becomes urgent when the symptoms progress to include a high sustained fever, especially in children and infants. This is perfect for urgent care, but does not require a visit to the emergency room. We want to inform patients of appropriate options in the community.