Urgent care is designed to provide treatment for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries that require prompt medical attention but are not severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care centers are typically open for extended hours, including weekends and holidays, and offer convenient walk-in options so you can get in and out as quickly as possible. Here are some of the benefits of choosing urgent care over the emergency room:
● Affordability — According to physician Dr. Samuel Bride, one of the main reasons people choose urgent care over the emergency room is because it is more affordable. Emergency room visits can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the condition and the length of time spent in the ER. On the other hand, urgent care visits are typically much less expensive, and many insurance plans offer coverage for urgent care services.
● Convenience — Another significant benefit of urgent care is that it is more convenient than the emergency room. Emergency rooms are often crowded, and you could end up waiting for hours to be seen by a doctor. Urgent care centers usually have shorter wait times, and you can walk in without an appointment.
● Flexibility — Urgent care centers are also more flexible than emergency rooms. Many urgent care centers offer extended hours and are open on weekends and holidays. This makes it easier to get the care you need when you need it.
● Shorter wait times — When you or a family member is feeling ill, the last thing you want to do is sit around in a waiting room for hours on end. Urgent care centers typically have shorter wait times than emergency rooms because they are not dealing with life-threatening conditions. In fact, another study found that the average wait time at an urgent care center is just 15 minutes, while the average wait time at an ER is 2 hours.
● Less paperwork — Another benefit of urgent care centers over emergency rooms is that there is less paperwork involved. Emergency rooms are required by law to treat everyone who comes in, regardless of their ability to pay or whether they have health insurance or not. This means that they have to verify your insurance and do a lot more paperwork upfront. Urgent care centers typically only require paperwork if you plan on using insurance, meaning the process will be much quicker.
● Wide range of services — Urgent care centers offer a wide range of services that can help you with everything from minor injuries to cold and flu symptoms. Many urgent care centers even have on-site X-ray and laboratory services, so you can get the tests you need without having to go to a separate facility.
Whether it’s due to affordability, shorter wait times, or less paperwork involved, there are plenty of good reasons to choose urgent care over emergency care. The next time you or a family member isn’t feeling well, head to your nearest urgent care center and get seen by a professional without having to deal with all the hassle.