When you need to go to the hospital, one thing you should consider is whether to go to the emergency room (ER) or to a walk in health clinic. Urgent care units provide a more affordable alternative to the ER, which is notorious for its long waits, its congestion, and its high costs. Though it is always recommended to go to an ER for a life threatening situation, urgent care centers will do for just about everything else.
To better explain just how beneficial urgent care is, here are three reasons why community health clinics provide a better alternative to the ER:
It’s Cheaper: The difference between the costs of an ER visit and an urgent care visit is substantial. For the same services, a patient in an urgent care center can save on average anywhere from $228 to $583. Many urgent care centers also provide flexible payment plans for patients as well as offers for those with little to no health insurance.
It’s Faster: In addition to paying less, patients also wait less. A good 69% of urgent care units have an average waiting time of less than 20 minutes; 28% have an average time of 21-40 minutes; and only 3% have an average time longer than 40 minutes. No one likes to stay in the hospital for longer than they need to, which is one reason why urgent care centers are so popular.
It’s Just as Effective: Outside of certain life threatening injuries and conditions, urgent care centers offer the same treatment as ERs. About 70% of urgent care units, for example, offer intravenous (IV) fluids, and nearly half of them offer pre-packaged medications, avoiding the need to go to a separate pharmacy.
Hopefully, you will never need to go to the hospital. If you do, however, consider walk in health clinics for your medical needs.