Have you ever gone to an emergency room for an illness or injury that maybe didn’t truly qualify as an “emergency”? If so, you may have ended up waiting for hours, and the visit likely cost you much more than you had thought it would. The next time you’re faced with such a dilemma, you may want to consider some facts about what an urgent care clinic can provide for you.
- The Urgent Care Association of America reports there are about 9,000 urgent care centers or urgent care clinics all across the United States. More than half of these centers have had their doors open for five or more years, and roughly 40% of urgent care clinics have been seeing patients for nine or more years.
- Urgent care centers and urgent care clinics can have more than 342 patients come through their doors on a weekly basis. Even with these volumes, these walk in clinics are able to keep your wait time much shorter than what you might find in an emergency room. Only 3% of urgent care clinics have wait times that exceed 40 minutes, while the majority of clinics (at 69%) boast an average wait time of under 20 minutes.
- You’re not alone if you worry about costs of unanticipated health issues. Urgent care cost is typically much less expensive than a trip to the emergency department. The difference in cost between an urgent care clinic and an emergency room visit for the same health concern can average between $228 to $583. You can receive the same care and treatment for a much more economical price by visiting an urgent care clinic rather than an emergency room.
- Approximately 48.6% of urgent care clinics also can dispense pre-packaged pharmaceuticals, making your trip more convenient that needing to have a prescription filled at another pharmacy or location. This is what the urgent care clinic industry refers to as “point-of-care” dispensing.
- Over 95% of urgent care clinics have physicians on call. However, in the United States, it’s anticipated that to care for our growing population’s health, the industry will need 52,000 additional primary care physicians by the year 2025.
If you find yourself in need of medical attention in the future, consider the benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic.