You probably know what it’s like to get sick on a Friday. Maybe you have a urinary tract infection, or your child has an ear infection. It’s going to be very uncomfortable for you until you can get to your doctor’s office on Monday. You may be considering a trip to the emergency room, but you know what a hassle that is. Who knows how long you’ll have to wait for your turn? There is an alternative. It’s called Urgent Care. Not only can you save time by going to an urgent care center, you will most certainly save money as well.
What is Urgent Care?
An urgent care facility is a convenient option when you cannot get an appointment to see your regular doctor. These facilities operate on the weekends and evenings to handle non-life-threatening healthcare needs which still require treatment right away. You don’t need an appointment, so you can walk right in when you need it. The urgent care center typically has the ability to run diagnostic tests and take blood tests, much like your doctor’s office. They can also provide prescriptions for the medications that you need.
According to Aetna, treating an ear infection at an emergency room runs around $500 or more.
Going to the urgent care center for the same issue costs much less, many times just the appointment fee of about $60. If you have insurance, this cost may be even less because you could have just your co-pay. Urgent care does not require insurance, so if you are not covered, you can still receive health care without the high sticker price of the emergency room.
How to Know Where to Go
Determining whether you should go to the ER or the urgent care center can be a bit tricky. If you have insurance, you may have access to a 24-hour nurse or help line that can direct you to the proper care. If not, the general rule of thumb is to think about whether you could be treated in your doctor’s office if it were available to you. The urgent care center treats those types of issues. This could include sprains, minor trauma, infections, and rashes.
Consider the severity of your symptoms. Shortness of breath, severe bleeding, and chest pains are reasons to go to the emergency room. However, according to Prime Urgent Care (http://www.primeuc.com) if you go to the urgent care center first, during triage, when they are performing the initial examination, they will direct you to the right facility if they are not prepared to treat your condition.
Take Advantage of Urgent Care Centers
When you’re out of town and need medical attention, an urgent care center makes a great solution. If you have a worker who is injured on the job, urgent care provides immediate care for workplace accidents at a fraction of the cost over an emergency room. This lets you keep your employees healthy while managing insurance costs.
Age does not matter at an urgent care facility. They take care of infants, children, adults, and senior citizens. Although you can get treatment to help you manage chronic conditions at an urgent care center, it really isn’t a substitute for your family physician. The doctors are well trained, but they don’t have your entire medical history like your primary care doctor. They do fill a need when you’re sick or hurt. Find one close to you and see how much money you save by using their facility.
This article was contributed on behalf of Prime Urgent Care. Visit Prime Urgent Care the next time you need healthcare and see the difference!