The emergence care services provided by urgent care facilities are among the fastest growing resources within the rapidly expanding United States health care industry. Their increasing popularity can be attributed to convenient hours, short wait times, and affordability.
In response to the rapid growth of the urgent care industry, the Urgent Care Association of America introduced the “Certified Urgent Care” designation in 2009. The urgent care certification was rolled out because the Urgent Care Association of America felt there was a need to regulate better the services provided by the hundreds of urgent care centers located across the county.
While the original intention of urgent care centers was to free up overburdened staff in hospital emergency rooms, a local urgent cares center is actually a faster and cheaper alternative to emergency room treatment. In fact, patients who are in need of after hours urgent care will receive faster treatment at only a fraction of the cost of the typical hospital emergency room.
According to the Urgent Care association of America, approximately 80% of all urgent emergency care center patients receive treatment within an hour of walking through the door; and nearly 60% of those individuals will be led to a back room inside of 15 minutes! How often do you find that kind of treatment in a hospital emergency room?
If the speedy treatment isn’t enough to convince more people to seek emergency care via urgent emergency care centers, perhaps their affordability will. The latest statistics show that the average cost of an urgent care visit can be as little as 10% of the cost of the average hospital emergency room bill. This makes urgent care centers ideal for people without medical insurance coverage, or those who are economically disadvantaged.
Whether you are tired of waiting forever to be treated in a hospital emergency room, or just like the idea of paying less for a couple of stitches, urgent care center are probably the best option. That being said, unless you are traumatically injured or deathly ill, skip the hospital emergency room and head straight for the nearest local urgent care.
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