Why Are American Families Visiting Urgent Care Clinics More Than Emergency Rooms?


Mckinney emergency room

You have abdominal pain. It’s severe enough to have you worried and has lasted for a full week. Do you see your family physician or do you go to the emergency room?

With urgent care models you don’t have to choose.

The United States is going to see a dearth in its physician population by 2025. The year 2013 also saw over a dozen rural hospitals shut down. This means more Americans than ever are going to need easily accessible, affordable and high-quality medical care. Convenient medical treatment shouldn’t have you waiting over an hour just to be given a quick diagnosis. Minor to moderate pain should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure your condition doesn’t get worse and put you at the risk of astronomically high medical bills.

Abdominal Pain And Nausea

It’s normal to feel nauseous after drinking too much or eating a poorly cooked meal. When this pain becomes too severe, however, this is your body trying to communicate to you that something is wrong. Emergency room visits have reached an annual total of 110 million and studies have shown Americans losing money by going to their local hospital instead of visiting a convenient care clinic. The average urgent care visit is just over $100, while the average emergency room visit for the same condition can cost over $300.

Headaches And Migraines

Headaches are a very common source of frustration for many American adults and children. Chronic dehydration is considered to blame for the majority of cases and it’s suggested by most medical professionals you drink water should you come down with one. If this condition lasts for days and shows no signs of improvement you could have a more serious problem on your hands. Over 60% of urgent care clinics have a wait time of just 15 minutes, meaning you can be in and out of your urgent care room in no time at all with medication in your hand and less stress on your shoulders.

Chest Pain And Breathing Difficulties

The most common complaint brought to family urgent care clinics is chest pain. Anxiety can cause twisting and tightening sensations, causing many to confuse their condition with the onset of a heart attack — an urgent care clinic can diagnose the source of your chest pain and give you a much lower cost than if you went to a conventional hospital. Other sources of chest pain can include lung problems, asthma or high blood pressure. The majority of urgent care centers operate seven days per week and at least four hours per day, with some models working around the clock. It’s important to look online for your local clinic’s hours so you can be prepared.

Preventative Care And Vaccines

Even if you’re not struggling with current medical problems you can visit a family urgent care clinic for preventative care resources. These include flu vaccines, HPV vaccines, STD testing and more. Americans are relying more than ever on 24-hour access to care through emergency departments, leaving many in a bad spot to pay off medical bills once they’ve been diagnosed. Not only will an urgent care center give you quick care in less than half the price, you can get preventative care to reduce how often you will need to visit the doctor in the first place.

Pediatric Care And Support

Those with children can also find their family urgent care model adapting to better suit their needs. Some urgent care clinics are designed to either accommodate children or serve them with their unique demands in mind, providing basic check-ups, vaccines and advanced diagnostic and laboratory services. A case treated at a hospital emergency room can cost more than $2,000, while the same case brought to a family urgent care center can remain under $250. The difference between emergency room and urgent care is becoming one that more Americans literally can’t afford to ignore.

Make this year the one where affordable cost and quality healthcare are not mutually exclusive.

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