A staggering number of individuals seek treatment in an emergency room each year.
An estimated 18 million of these visits to the ER are avoidable. Most are even treatable at a primary care office or urgent care. There are several potential downfalls to an extreme number of ER visits.
Urgent care centers span the United States. These centers are extremely convenient, and yet urgent care benefits are still relatively unknown to individuals seeking medical care.
Let’s explore some of the best benefits of urgent care. We will also look at how these medical facilities compare to others.
Urgent Care Centers Versus Emergency Rooms
Urgent care services may sound identical to an emergency room visit. After all, “urgent” and “emergency” seem like they have a lot in common.
The truth lies in semantics. The emergency room is specifically designed to treat emergencies; heart attacks, blood clots, seizures, and dozens of other fast-acting healthcare concerns that must be treated quickly.
An urgent care facility treats patients quickly, but the healthcare concern is not a life or death situation. Things in your body that don’t feel right, such as sudden nausea, dizziness, stomach aches, bronchitis, and plenty others, are better treated in an urgent care facility if a primary physician is not available.
There are plenty of other differences between urgent care centers and emergency rooms.
What Do They Cover
Urgent care facilities and emergency rooms basically have the same equipment, with a few exceptions.
An emergency room typically has better diagnostic tools and more specialized doctors on hand. Cardiologists and orthopedic surgeons are some of the doctors you typically will not be able to see at urgent care.
One of the biggest draws of the emergency room is the 24-hour availability. For those who are undergoing a medical situation that must be taken care of quickly, the emergency room may seem like the best bet.
But, 24 hour urgent care is easy to find across the United States. A minor health issue is easily taken care of at urgent care.
One of the biggest benefits of urgent care is the cost difference. Emergency rooms coincide with hospitals, and because of that, the fees are typically much higher.
Urgent care centers typically cost about as much as a visit to your primary physician’s office, with a few insurance-specific exceptions. The same care at the emergency room can cost anywhere from double, triple, or even five times as much as a trip to urgent care.
On the surface, there is absolutely no difference in the quality of care you receive at the ER or an urgent care facility.
Since the emergency room is connected to a hospital facility, hospital admittance is possible. But because hospital facilities across the United States are experiencing record numbers of patients, you may be sent home with a hefty bill to pay.
Explore More Health Benefits
This article only brushed on some of the best urgent care benefits in the industry. Ready to learn more about urgent care centers and their benefits? Our Health section will keep you up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
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