Ever wondered how you amassed so many medical expenses from your local hospital?
Ever wonder why your bill was so high?
Ever wonder if that bill and other medical bills will sink you into a depression?
It’s safe to say that many parts of our medical system today demand incredible amounts of resources. Although going to an emergency room may seem like the safest bet, the amount of money required at the end of the day, even after insurance has ponied up quite a bit, may make the whole experience seem like it wasn’t worth it.
And it’s true that in the most life-threatening situations, emergency rooms still are the best stop for getting medical care in this country. However, many Americans are seeking out the emergency room even when their symptoms are not the most severe. They may read a snippet online that says–If you have this, this, and this, go to your emergency room!
Alas, most times it’s not necessary.
It’s easy to become frightened in today’s medical landscape with so many websites offering an authoritarian point of view regarding you and your symptoms. That can lead to a quick trip to the emergency room, where they run tests and declare you completely okay–a perfect bill of health.
Sure, it’s true. Many people seek out the safety of an emergency room because it gives them their physician can’t–a quick urgent look. While many Americans will suffer through symptoms of an illness or an ailment while waiting for that doctor’s appointment to arrive, many need attention much quicker.
Whether it’s from the flu or a common cold or a virus or a broken bone or a laceration, people who need help quickly are often torn between going to the emergency room, where expensive, immediate treatment is available, or waiting for a doctor’s appointment, which may take days but increases the time necessary to treat the illness or ailment.
There, frankly and thankfully, is another solution: the urgent care center. Here are reasons why people are seeking it out now in record numbers.
Affordability. Urgent care centers, quite frankly, are more affordable than other similar levels of care, and especially more than the emergency room. While an urgent care bill may run into the low 100-200 dollar range, an emergency room bill will set someone back several hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Medical treatment. It is remarkable how up to date and treatment ready these urgent care clinics are. They have all the state of the art equipment, from x-ray machines to other scanning devices, and can treat most illnesses and ailments. For instance, here is a quick look at some health statistics in America:
- Urinary tract infections account for around 8.1 million visits to doctors each year.
- About 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy.
- Each year, Americans get approximately 1 billion colds.
- Reports estimate that 25,000 Americans suffer an ankle sprain each day.
- Between 5% and 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year.
These symptoms can fortunately be treated at an urgent care facility. In fact, 4 our of 5 urgent care centers have the actual ability to treat fractures. Other conditions that can be treated at an urgent care center include lacerations, bronchitis, strep throat, finger sprains, upper respiratory infections, and much much more.
Immediacy of treatment. It kind of goes with out saying–urgent care centers get you treatment that is, well, urgent. That means the day of. Patients come in on a walk-in basis, meaning there is no need to make an appointment. This helps bridge the gap between the emergency room and the family doctor.
Patients can get the help they need, quickly, that same day, and they can get that treatment at a much lower cost than in an emergency room. This gives the patient more options to control the kinds and cost of their treatment, allowing themselves to be better able to advocate for themselves.
Currently, there are 20,000 physicians practicing urgent care medicine today. 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days per week, many from the very early morning hours to well into the night. An estimated three million Americans seek out care at an urgent care center every week.
It’s the right move for many. It bridges the gap. For everyone.