According to recent data, approximately three million Americans seek treatment via urgent care facilities every week. This places urgent care centers as the forefront of the United States’ rapidly expanding health care industry. Despite the growing popularity of urgent cares among people in need of a family walk in clinic, many Americans with minor injuries or illnesses don’t bother to find urgent care facilities, and opt for hospital emergency rooms instead.
Since emergency room treatment often requires long waits and sky high medical bills, one can only assume that folks who choose hospital emergency rooms over 24 hour urgent care centers either don’t know they exist, or are not responsible for paying for their own medical expenses. Either way, the typical urgent care is usually a faster and cheaper emergency medical care option over the standard hospital emergency room.
Although record numbers of people still seek immediate medical care via hospital emergency rooms, if they had any clue about the time and money they could save, chances are they would make the extra effort to find a local urgent care. In fact, 20% of all emergency room patients could be treated competently at urgent care centers, yet they still don’t seem to get it.
The American Urgent Care Association claims that 80% of all urgent care patients are treated within an hour of walking through the door; and 60% of urgent care patients are seen by a physician inside of 15 minutes. If that’s not enough of an advantage for urgent care patients, the average urgent care bill can be as little as 10% of the average hospital emergency room bill.
If you’re looking for fast and affordable emergency medical care or family walk in clinic, an urgent care facility is probably the best alternative. So the next time you or someone you know needs fast, same day treatment for a minor injury or illness, skip the emergency room, and check out a local urgent care center.