Urgent care facilities are a growing force in the United States healthcare industry, specifically designed to provide immediate care for non-life-threatening medical conditions. These medical walk in clinics can be found in a number of locations, ranging from free-standing buildings to medical plazas and even retail centers. Because of a variety of benefits they offer patients, urgent care centers have had a significant impact on their communities, offering residents access to top doctors while reducing the strain on emergency walk in clinics and local doctors offices.
There are an estimated 160 million urgent care visits every year in the United States. In spite of this, as many as 27% of all emergency room visits in the U.S. could take place at an urgent care facility. This statistic demonstrates an unfortunate fact: thousands of doctors offices and emergency rooms in the U.S. are overwhelmed by the number of patients they see every day, reducing the level of treatment and attention they can give to patients who need emergency room care. Urgent care centers help reduce this number of patients by treating a wide array of non-critical ailments, ranging from upper respiratory diseases to anxiety.
Visiting an urgent care center is an easy way to help your community health services and also access convenient medical care. The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine requires all urgent care centers to be open for business seven days a week, while 70% of these centers also open as early as 8 a.m. for patient convenience. Many other urgent care centers are open 24 hours a day, ensuring that patients can see top doctors about their medical problems whenever an issue may arise. Additionally, most urgent care centers accept health insurance plans to cover payment and also charge rates considerably lower than the co-pays at emergency rooms.
While urgent care centers are a relatively new addition to the American healthcare industry, they have already become quite effective: more patients now visit local walk in clinics for their non-critical medical issues, reducing community reliance on emergency rooms. As a result, urgent care clinics are spreading across the country, giving communities access top doctors and affordable medical care while also helping hospitals provide better treatment for patients with life-threatening conditions. For these reasons, in the event of a non-critical injury or illness, your choice is clear: visit an urgent care center near you.