It should be no secret to anyone living in the United States over the last decade that the American healthcare landscape is overburdened. Medication prices are rising as the economy continues to stand on shaky legs. An aging population is leading to more visitors in emergency rooms that are already struggling to keep up with their workload. Without a sensible alternative, Americans experiencing less severe injuries or illness are adding to the headache American hospitals are dealing with. For all of these reasons and more, emergency room alternatives, most commonly in the form of an urgent care facility, are offering hospitals respite and Americans a place they can go for quality treatment.
What Conditions Are Treated at Urgent Care Centers?
Urgent cares centers were originally established to provide medical attention for acute conditions that are not serious enough to require a visit to the ER but still require immediate attention. Most commonly, that meant these emergency room alternatives were dealing with sprains, strains, minor respiratory problems, food poisoning, and other acutely occurring conditions. However, they are increasingly offering lab services, X-rays, physical exams, and STD testing.
What Should I Expect to Pay at a 24 Hr Urgent Care Center?
Many assume that the convenience provided by emergency room alternatives, like urgent care centers, comes with a premium price-tag. However, as Fair Health Consumer shows, urgent care treatment is often many times cheaper than a hospital visit. In fact, routine care in the hospital may cost as much as $1,000. On the other hand, that same care will generally run $20 at an urgent care center.
What Other Benefits Are There to Emergency Room Alternatives?
One of the biggest factors in the increased popularity of emergency room alternatives is the increasing caseload primary care physicians have to deal with. Since this directly leads to difficulty in scheduling appointments, longer wait times, and a decrease in individualized healthcare, Americans are trying to find more convenient alternatives. Urgent medical care facilities are popularly referred to as “walk in care” centers because they so readily accept patients at a moment’s notice.
How to Find Reputable Urgent Care Facilities
As can clearly be seen, emergency room alternatives offer patients reduced cost, a wide variety of care, and reduced wait times; all of these are problems the mainstream healthcare system has a hard time addressing. However, despite these benefits, it is important to note that emergency room alternatives are not necessarily better than any other healthcare facility.
If patients want the best care for themselves and their families, they need to look for a facility which has the mark of a Certified Urgent Care Center, a designation established in 2009 by the Urgent Care Association of America to protect American citizens. Doing so can get Americans the aforementioned benefits and more. Read this website for more information.