When it comes to health care, there is a myriad of options to choose from. There are many factors that might dictate where one chooses to receive care: severity of the issue, what kind of testing might be required, et cetera. For many, urgent care services may be the best option if the person doesn't want to wait for a primary care appointment or incur the cost of an emergency room visit.
Urgent care locations, while not the same as a hospital, can provide a wide variety of patient services, often at the fraction of the cost of a doctor or emergency room trip. For colds, minor viral infections, strep throat, bug stings, burns, allergies, and many other maladies, urgent care is often a much more affordable (and quicker!) option than the alternatives. Some urgent cares accept health insurance plans. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider and plan that this option is available to you. Services provided can vary from location to location, so it is best to research the urgent care nearest you to find out what treatments are available in your area.
How Urgent Care Can Benefit You
One of the largest incentives to receiving treatment at an urgent care is the amount of time you will likely spend there in comparison to a doctor or hospital visit. According to Urgent Care Association's 2016 Benchmarking Report, 92% of urgent care clinics were able to see their patients in 30 minutes or less. There are many factors that can determine one's wait time at a clinic, though at the same time there are things a person can do to mitigate their time spent in the waiting room. Most Urgent Care have low to no wait times typically.
Wait Times Are Usually an Incentive to Go to Urgent Care
Most importantly, check-in online if possible! Many urgent care facilities now offer the ability to not only schedule your visit but view the current wait times for the facility as well. These times will often depend on whether or not the facility is 24-hour urgent care, as well as the day of the week and the current time of day. For example, a clinic is much more likely to be busy on a Monday morning than a Thursday afternoon. Other things a person can do to cut down on time include providing insurance information and medical history online so that the provider you visit has this information ready when it is your turn.
Online Services Make the Process Much Easier
Cost when visiting urgent care will depend largely on whether or not you have insurance. With insurance, the copay for a typical visit will be either $25 or $50. Without insurance, the average cost for an urgent care appointment will range between $75 and $150. Keep in mind, though, the care you receive (and the location you visit) can play a role in cost as well. For example, an X-ray at one clinic might run $70, while the same procedure at a different location could cost as much as $125.
For most, finding a location to receive fast urgent care is very easy. Click here to find a list of urgent care locations that are near you. If the situation is not an emergency, urgent care might be the solution best for you!