Why You Should Start Visiting an Urgent Care Center

Seattle urgent care

If you have never visited an urgent care clinic, it may not be immediately clear what use these walk in clinics provide that wasn’t already covered by the healthcare industry. After all, you have likely visited your local doctor’s office and perhaps even a community emergency room and been able to access the medical care you or a loved one required. However, if you have ever dreaded the wait times at your doctor’s office during flu season, or had to pay expensive emergency room fees, urgent care clinics offer patients like you an efficient and cost-effective alternative method of treating non-critical injuries and illnesses.

Urgent care centers are designed to relieve pressure on overwhelmed emergency rooms and doctors offices while simultaneously serving as a convenient option for patients. As such, urgent care clinics offer a variety of benefits, with one of the most common being their helpful hours: many urgent care facilities in the United States are open for 24 hours a day, and all are required by the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine (AAUCM) to be open 7 days a week. This makes it possible for patients to access medical care at any point, especially during hours when their doctor’s office is closed. Urgent care clinics are also designed to see patients immediately, removing the hassle of scheduling an appointment or waiting for hours for a doctor to be free: according to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAA), an estimated 69% of urgent care visits involve an average wait time of 20 minutes or less.

While urgent care facilities can only treat non-life-threatening medical conditions, these centers are able to treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments: an estimated 80.7% of urgent care clinics in the United States provide care for bone fractures and splints, and many have access to X-ray technology to diagnose and treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues. Additionally, urgent care centers typically charge co-pays similar to that of a doctor’s office and far less than what an emergency room visit would cost. As a result, the typical urgent care visit in 40 to 50% less expensive than a trip to the emergency room. So if you’ve been looking for a cheaper, more efficient alternative to the long waiting times and expensive payments of doctors offices and emergency rooms, the choice is clear: if you or a loved one suffers a non-life-threatening medical problem, visit an urgent care clinic near you.
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