Local urgent care centers are a relatively recent addition to the healthcare industry. However, a recent survey done by the Urgent medical care Association of America found that approximately 55 percent of all urgent medical care facilities in the United States have been in business for at least 5 years. Urgent medical care centers have been instrumental in unburdening doctors offices and picking up slack for the standard emergency room in hospital settings. Though historically designed to treat acute but non life threatening health care problems such as the typical childhood ear infection or flu, recently, a urgent medical care walk in clinic will provide a variety of other services, including lab testing, X rays, and even school physicals.
Three quarters of all urgent medical care centers in the United States are situated in suburban areas, and just 10 percent are located in rural areas. However, those urgent medical care centers located in rural areas often double as standard doctors offices, offering preventive care services like pap smears, school physicals, and vaccinations. Thus, even though there are not many rural urgent medical care centers, the ones that do exist serve an extremely important function within the community.
One reason that the urgent medical care model has caught on is that it is between 40 and 50 percent less expensive to get treated at an urgent medical care center than it is to be treated in a medical center emergency room. As well, many people prefer to have a one stop shopping experience when it comes to health care, thus being able to have their case of acute strep throat treated after hours at the same place they get school physicals for their children taken care of. If this is the case, you can find urgent care centers where you live.
Often, when you want to get school physicals performed at a primary care physicians office, you have to wait a long time for an appointment, and the cost of having the paperwork filled out can be somewhere in the neighborhood of $75, an exorbitant amount of money for most families. However, when you have school physicals done at an urgent medical care walk in clinic, the cost is much lower. Appointments for school physicals can often be made on the same day, and urgent care hours are extended past the normal work day, making it easy to go to an urgent care facility in the evening. This is an example of why urgent medical care centers are so convenient.
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