Urgent Care Continues to Relieve Pressure on Medical Field
If you’ve ever been in need of emergency medical care for an injury or illness, you know how time-consuming emergency waiting rooms can be and how expensive emergency care can get. But urgent care is becoming a growing trend in the medical industry, for those who are unwilling or unable to seek out emergency room care but need more than just a primary care doctor visit. In fact, the urgent care market represents an astounding $14.5 billion business in the medical industry.
Urgent care facilities tend to focus their efforts on providing immediate relief to patients who either do not have access to their primary care physician (as is often the case on weekends or after hours), or for patients whose illness or injury does not meet the level of required emergency room care. Typically, urgent care visits cost much less in terms of co-pays and insurance deductibles than a visit to the emergency room would cost. The average cost of a visit to an urgent care clinic is $55 to $75 while a visit to an emergency room costs, on average, $400. According to research, about 85 percent of urgent care visits are open seven days a week with around 95 percent staying open until at least 7p.m. or later.
These facilities also take pressure off of over-crowded emergency rooms and off of overworked doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. With the average emergency room wait time more than four hours long, a large percentage of emergency room patients can be properly treated in an urgent care setting, at a fraction of the wait time and for a fraction of the cost. Many illnesses and injuries can be treated at urgent care centers including the flu and fever, broken bones, rashes, and urinary tract infections.
Because of shortages on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals; urgent care centers are also the preferred way to alleviate some of this pressure. Many more forms of urgent care centers, that treat specific concerns like gynecological and pediatric care, are emerging throughout the United States as the demand for such centers continues to grow.
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