Until urgent care facilities began to proliferate throughout America’s suburban and urban landscapes, individuals in need of immediate medical care had few, if any, alternatives to hospital emergency rooms. Today, there are approximately 7,164 urgent care centers spread across the United States.
Although the typical urgent care facility does not have the resources needed to treat traumatic injuries or serious illnesses, for folks with minor medical issues, an urgent care center is a faster, cheaper treatment alternative to hospital emergency room care. And since the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine requires urgent care centers to be open seven days per week, it is easier than ever to find 24 hr urgent cares.
The affordability and fast treatment available at the typical urgent care are two reasons why they are becoming so popular among people in need of immediate medical treatment. In fact, 80% of all urgent care patients receive treatment within an hour of walking through the door. And approximately 60% are seen by a physician, physician, or nurse inside of 15 minutes. How often do you find that kind of services in a hospital emergency room?
Additionally, the average urgent care center visit costs as little as 10% of an average hospital emergence room bill. This makes urgent care an excellent emergency care alternative for both the economically disadvantaged and those without insurance coverage. It is also important to point out that urgent care centers also offer supplemental services like flu shots and school physicals.
Whether folks need immediate treatment for a sprains or lacerations, or they’re just looking for a place to get cheap flu shots or school physicals, urgent care centers might be their best option. Not only will they still be able to catch that evening’s NCAA tourney game, but will also have enough pocket money left for pizza and beer.