A survey conducted by the Urgent Care Association of America shows that an estimated 55% of American urgent care centers have been in business five years or longer. If you have never visited an urgent care clinic, this may seem like an insignificant statistic. However, you may likely find yourself visiting one in the future: an estimated 9,000 urgent care facilities in the United States are reportedly interested in opening another branch or finding some other way to expand. Fortunately, urgent care centers are known for providing convenient, reliable, and affordable medical care for non-critical injuries and ailments. The expansion of these walk-in clinics has the potential to completely change the way the healthcare industry, and patients like you, view medical services.
Urgent care centers are designed to relieve pressure on local emergency rooms, which often face a high volume of patients; in fact, studies show that as many as 27% of all emergency room visits in the U.S. could have been treated at an urgent care facility. In order to serve these patients non-life-threatening injuries, urgent care centers typically offer a number of convenient alternatives: for example, the Urgent Care Association of America reports that over 80% of urgent care patients wait 15 minutes or less for treatment. Moreover, 80% of all urgent care visits in the U.S. are completed within an hour or less.
The list of conditions that can be treated at an urgent care center is extensive: for example, 75% of children will contract an ear infection by the age of 5, and every one can be treated at an urgent care center. Additionally, urgent care clinics often provide X-ray services to diagnose fractures, sprains, and other musculoskeletal problems. And because urgent care centers are designed to be less expensive than a visit to the emergency room, the typical urgent care copay fee is 40% to 50% less expensive than the payments charged by a U.S. emergency room.
If you have never visited an urgent care center, you are missing out on a convenient and effective way to access medical care for non-life-threatening medical conditions. In fact, most urgent care facilities allow and encourage walk in appointments, and many are open 24 hours a day, making it easy to get the services you need at your convenience. Prepare yourself for future medical problems: find a local urgent care clinic today.