Would You Rather Spend $100 Or $300? Choosing Between Urgent Care Clinics And The Emergency Room


Urgent care is the medical care of the future. Here’s why.

Too many Americans struggle with medical bills today. Even worse? Some of these can be better avoided by choosing different forms of healthcare. While some situations absolutely merit a trip to the emergency room, others are better off being taken to an urgent care facility. Minor to moderate injuries or illnesses will be seen after a short wait time, offered superior care and leave you feeling better both physically and financially. Let’s explore why your medical clinic should be supporting, rather than inhibiting, your new year.

The state of American healthcare in flux. It’s important for you to sit down and consider all the ways you can support your health as well as your family’s over the coming months. While planning out your diet and exercise regimen is important, so is thinking about the resources you can turn to when you start facing breathing difficulties or chest pain you can’t explain. Urgent care is affordable, local and offers a wide variety of on-the-spot treatment for all kinds of issues. As of today there are over 20,000 physicians who practice urgent care medicine across the country, representing one of the fastest growing fields in medical care.

The average urgent care clinic will have seven exam or treatment rooms. Nearly all of them, according to a recent 2014 study, will operate seven days per week and be open for at least four hours per day. The average patient per hour for urgent care physicians is four and wait times have remained steady at 15 minutes per person. Not only can you receive treatment for your unexplained nausea or pediatric care for a sick child, you can expect to get a much lower medical bill than if you had gone straight to the emergency room. This is one of many differences that make or break a medical center.

An alarming amount of Americans will lose hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars going to the emergency room when an urgent care facility is more applicable. The average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is $100 per person or so, while the emergency room is closer to $300 per person on average. Emergency room visits number over 110 million every year. When you or a family member are experiencing extreme breathing difficulties, a deep wound, an allergic reaction, a lack of awareness or fainting you should always visit the emergency room. When the issue is painful, but more minor?

Your urgent care facility can provide medicine for the flu, the common cold, nausea, headaches and cuts. Some of the most common frustrations brought to urgent care clinics is abdominal pain, though moderate breathing difficulties, urinary tract infections and skin infections are also widespread. Urgent care clinics can also provide preventative care in the form of STD check-ups, flu shots and physicals. A physician, or group of physicians, owns around 50% of urgent care centers in the United States. Some medical clinic facilities also combine the function of an urgent care clinic with an emergency room model.

A recent study found as many as 65% of all emergency room visits could have instead gone to the urgent care center. Use your discretion and make 2018 the year you prioritize your health while still saving money at your local medical clinic.