Your Options for Urgent Medical Care

Medical walk in clinic

You have twisted your ankle in a pick-up basketball game. Fortunately, your injury occurred around a few urgent care facilities. You can get the help you need to get back on your feet quicker. Make sure you know how to look up your primary care physician ID number to help the urgent care staff get you the best treatment available.

Some of the conditions most often treated at urgent care centers include: sprains and strains; fractures; upper respiratory illnesses; gastrointestinal conditions such as food poisoning; lacerations; and concussions. After hours urgent care centers are not usually open 24 hours a day, but 70% of the facilities in the United States open by 8 a.m. or earlier and 95% close after 7 p.m. The first urgent care centers opened in 1970 and now there are approximately 10,000 centers nationally. In some states, urgent care centers have point-of-care prescription dispensing, to ensure that the patient can receive his or her prescriptions before leaving the center. There are several criteria for urgent care centers including having a licensed physician operating as a medical director and contain multiple exam rooms.

Urgent care centers are gaining in popularity because they operate on a walk-in basis, but generally have shorter wait times than emergency rooms; at the same time, they have more convenient hours than physicians’ offices. Urgent care centers are intended to ease the burden on emergency rooms by treating non-life threatening injuries and illnesses; often the patient will be instructed to follow up with his or her primary care physician. A doctors urgent care center costs less than an emergency room. Reimbursement by insurance companies for urgent care centers is comparable to general/family practice reimbursement. Urgent care centers have a much shorter wait time (30 minutes) compared to the hours it often takes to see a doctor in the emergency room.

Unlike a walk-in health clinic urgent care centers are generally staffed by a physician and are supported by nurses, physician assistants and medical assistants. One of the drivers for the growth of the urgent-care industry is the increasing caseload of primary care physicians, which leads to difficulty scheduling appointments, longer wait times and decreased time spent with each patient. If you have condition that is not life-threatening it is recommended you see your doctor over a trip to the emergency room. Contact your doctor if you want to find urgent care facilities near you.

If you are going to an urgent care facility, make sure you know how to find your primary care physician ID number. If you know your primary care physician ID number you will be able to better communicate with urgent care doctor. This will allow the doctor to give you the kind of help you need to recover quicker. More.

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