Why You Should Know The Difference Between The ER and Urgent Care

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Your health is important. If you’re noticing the development of chronic headaches with no direct cause or have found yourself concerned about the state of your heart, it’s imperative you seek out the medical resource that can give you the attention you need at the best price. ER and urgent care are both medical models meant to represent different degrees of pain, with the former for life-threatening emergencies and the latter for minor to moderate issues that can’t wait for a scheduled appointment. More specialized facilities, such as a childrens walk in clinic or after hour care, function in a wider network of flexible, applicable medical assistance.

The State Of Healthcare In America

The United States has seen significant changes in healthcare over the past few decades. With new bills being proposed and issues such as mental health and skin cancer rising to the forefront, it’s easy to feel lost in the shuffle. There are, however, many resources that can take care of you even as you get your insurance and finances in order. Americans have been found to rely heavily on the 24-hour access to care provided by ER and urgent care. AD visits, for example, have increased 22% over the past 10 years. The nation, however, will be short more than 90,000 physicians by the time 2020 comes around. What does this mean for you and your family?

The Function Of Urgent Care

Not all medical resources operate the same. It’s important to know the difference between urgent care and ER so you aren’t indirectly spending more than you need to. The urgent care market is considered highly fragmented by medical professionals, with HealthCare Appraisers finding that most operators own fewer than three centers and don’t have a dominant market presence. The majority of urgent care centers operate seven days per week, with an additional average of seven treatment rooms per facility. These are the in-between for the hospital and the emergency room, handling burns, sprains, broken bones, cuts and moderate illnesses.

The Function Of The ER

While the urgent care is an ideal resource for those that need immediate attention for more minor to moderate issues, the emergency room is designed to handle a life-threatening situation as quickly as possible. These include severe injuries, allergic reactions and poisonings, among others. Emergency room visits have reached 110 million annually, with the United States needing 52,000 additional primary care physicians by 2025 to properly meet the country’s demand.

Finding The Right Care For You

When a Milliman study saw 45% of all ER episodes better suited for an urgent care setting, being able to differentiate between medical resources is a number one priority in a rapidly changing America. The average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is around $100 per patient. Compare this to emergency rooms, in which the average is $300 or higher. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have had a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see either a physician or mid-level provider, as well. When you need effective treatment but aren’t sure where to turn to, look to ER and urgent care.