According to a December 2012 report published by the Urgent Care Association of America, there are approximately 9,000 urgent care centers operating across the United States. The report went on to say that urgent care centers receive more than 3 millions visits — per week — which averages out to about 357 visits per center each week. For individuals and families in need of medical care, these convenient, walk-in clinics offer quality care, minimal wait times and affordability for those who find themselves in need of the urgent care no insurance option. Here, you’ll learn more about urgent care centers and the benefits of using them if you or your family are currently without health care insurance.
What Urgent Care Centers Do
It’s important to know that urgent care centers are not the same as emergency rooms; thus, if you or someone you love is suffering from a life-threatening illness or injury, it is best to call 911 immediately.
However, urgent care centers are the perfect solution when medical attention is needed quickly, yet the challenge is not considered a “emergency.” Some examples include:
- Minor accidents
- Sprains, strains or falls
- Difficulty breathing (perhaps due to mild or moderate asthma)
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Severe coughs, colds, sore throat, etc.
- Broken bones or fractures
- Bleeding or cuts requiring stitches
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Diagnostic Tests (including X-rays or lab tests)
- Dehydration, and
- Vomiting or diarrhea (among others).
Further, according to the aforementioned report by the UCAOA, an impressive 85 percent of all urgent care centers are open for business seven days a week. Also, nearly 7 out of every 10 patients see a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner less than 20 minutes after check-in. Therefore, urgent care facilities are often perfect for those who need medical attention from doctors after hours.
Need Medical Attention But Don’t Have Insurance?
Part of the rising popularity of urgent care centers centers on their willingness to assist patients without health insurance, often for far less than the cost of an emergency room visit. While each center operates differently, most urgent care centers also take walk-ins, and some have special plans available for those exercising the urgent care no insurance option. For families without insurance, some urgent care facilities offer a family care package which includes basic annual exams and a certain number of urgent care visits each year. To learn what options are available, front office personnel can often brief you on what options and plans are available through their center.
In conclusion, urgent care centers are in business to help with non-emergency medical challenges which require attention as soon as possible. Therefore, while they scheduled appointments are encouraged, they are certainly not required. Likewise, while most will gladly process health insurance paperwork, none are turned away; this fact makes the urgent care no insurance option the perfect option for many individuals and families across America today.