Health and Fitness Tips

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Trusted experts in emergency care

Have you ever experienced an injury after your physician?s office hours? A lot of thoughts probably went through your head, as you considered how to handle it. If you are in a lot of pain, you probably considered going to the local emergency room. However, your injury is not quite an emergency and you do not want to pay the high costs of the hospital.
You also do not want to fill up the emergency room, taking time away from those who really need it. Your regular physician?s office is closed though and you cannot wait until they reopen. What are your options? Fortunately urgent care centers have stepped in and filled this void. They are the perfect mix between a primary care physician?s office and the emergency department at your local hospital. They have extended hours, and are staffed with qualified medical professionals.

In fact, a physician or a group of physicians own approximately 50% of urgent care centers. Urgent care centers allow you to get after hours care from someone similar to your primary care physician. They offer many benefits to patients who are experiencing an injury or an illness that cannot wait until their medical office opens, but is not severe enough to warrant a trip to one of the local emergency centers.

When people experience an injury or an illness outside of regular physician office hours, they may be tempted to run to the emergency room. However, according to a report from Truven Health Analytics, more than 70% of emergency department visits from patients with consumer sponsored insurance coverage are for non emergency conditions of conditions easily preventable through simple outpatient care. Additionally, according to a private study conducted by Milliman, approximately 44 to 65% of all ER episodes could have been treated in urgent care clinic settings.

Most people are actually surprised at the type of services that an urgent care setting can offer to its patients. It is similar to the emergency department, because it has the ability to take walk in cases. Some urgent care centers are even placed conveniently nearby the local hospital emergency room. An urgent care setting that is placed inside of a hospital or a medical setting can provide additional medical procedures, such as advanced diagnostic and laboratory services.

Advanced diagnostic and laboratory services were once something that could only be done by the local hospital. Today however, many primary care physicians and urgent care settings also have the ability. The possibility of advanced diagnostic and laboratory services is one of the main reasons for placing these urgent care settings in or around local hospitals.

In addition to advanced diagnostic and laboratory services, patients will see a variety of services offered at their local urgent care setting. Most urgent care centers offer a convenient quality and cost. Emergency room fees are often quite similar to in patient hospital visits. Urgent care settings are closer to a regular primary care physician office visit. The wait times are often much less, as well. Someone who visits a local hospital emergency room can expect to wait for sometimes many hours. Urgent care settings can also see a variety of health conditions, including family urgent care services and numerous family medicine and pediatric services.

Anyone who has ever been injured after medical office hours has weighed the pros and cons of visiting their local emergency department. However, urgent care centers have filled that void, offering a nice middle ground between the two. Patients do not have to visit the hospital for care, and they do not have to wait for their regular physician?s office to open. They can receive many of the same services, like advanced diagnostic and laboratory services that they do at both places, but can expect lower wait times and reduced fees than the emergency department.