Walk In Clinics vs the ER — Which Do You Need?
There’s a lot of debate about whether medical walk in clinics such as urgent care facilities are actually better than the emergency services. Well, it depends on a few different circumstances. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another, and it’s understandable if you want to put your trust in the hospital before a family health clinic. However, that doesn’t mean that these health clinics aren’t good for anything. They can actually provide for you in your time of need. Here are some of the ways they can do that.
While it’s true that most people prefer the emergency services, you usually have to have a serious reason to go to the hospital. And even if you think you have something serious and you don’t, you could end up paying for it. A report by the Medical Expenditure Pan The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey estimates that the cost of an average ER visit could cost a total of $1,300. That’s a lot of money just for showing up. Meanwhile, medical walk in clinics usually charge you much less if it’s not an emergency. And if it is and they can’t treat you, they’ll send you to the hospital themselves. So there’s honestly no harm in checking with them first. It could end up saving you a lot of money. And they offer a variety of treatment options for you.
Urgent care facilities are equipped to help with all sorts of common problems you might be having such as headaches, the flu, or family health care including pediatrics for your children. In other words, less serious issues that don’t really warrant a visit to the ER but you might need a little help with anyway. They can also offer help for fractures, sprains, abrasions and more. Most even offer std testing if you think that you may need to double check.
And that goes along with why urgent care facilities are called that in the first place. Urgent care and other medical walk in clinics are able to get you seen and on your way much faster than the emergency services. In fact, the Urgent Care Association reports that over 90% of their locations maintained average wait times of 30 minutes or less in 2015.
This means that while the emergency services have their obvious advantages, if you want to be seen without having to worry about waiting a long time or paying a lot if it’s not an emergency, walk in clinics are your best bet. And they’re more than likely going to be able to help you just as easily, so that takes a load off your mind.