FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is urgent care and how does it work?
Life-threatening emergencies, such as a heart attack or a serious head injury, require a visit to the Emergency Room. Urgent Care centers are setup to treat patients with an illness or injury that does not appear to be life–threatening, but also can’t wait until the next day, or for primary care doctor to see them.
Equipped with multiple exam rooms, on-site lab testing, and digital x-ray capabilities, First Care Clinics provide a broad array of urgent, walk-in, and occupational medicine services. Open seven days a week with extended hours on nights and weekends, our clinics offer treatment for a wide variety of common illnesses, injuries, and conditions.
What can urgent care centers treat?
Generally, they can treat everyday injuries and illnesses. First Care can treat everything from colds, flu and cuts to fractures, sprains and some dislocations. We provide immunizations, sports physicals, EKGs and X-rays. We perform minor surgical procedures, such as stitches. We also administer IV fluids and labs.
Who does FIRST CARE treat?
Anyone. Urgent care is a solution for individuals of all ages. Kids with a cough. Teenagers needing sports physicals, adults with a broken bone. Some have lived in town for years but can’t get in to see their primary care physician; some have just moved to town and have yet to establish a primary care physician; some are visiting from out of town; all are looking for high quality, compassionate care from someone they can trust. And with a nurse practitioner always on site, that’s exactly what they get at First Care.
What about insurance?
First Care accepts most major health insurance plans and can bill the insurance companies directly. To learn more, visit here.
What is the role of urgent care in today's healthcare system?
Urgent care represents a compelling alternative to millions of patients who seek emergency department or primary care. An urgent care visit is much more convenient than scheduling a primary care physician appointment or navigating a hospital system emergency department.
Urgent care clinics have the potential to remove significant costs from the U.S. healthcare system. Approximately 31.6 million annual emergency department patients could be appropriately treated in urgent care clinics, and estimates of the total U.S. healthcare cost saving of such a setting shift could range from $7.2 billion to $18.5 billion annually.
How does urgent care compare with ERs and primary care physicians on wait times?
According to the 2009 Merritt Hawkins study, the average wait time to make an appointment with a primary care physician is more than 20 days. Patients with everyday medical issues are faced with two options: wait for that appointment, or make an unnecessary, costly visit to the ER. But the latter choice is not necessarily fast. The average Emergency Room visit lasts approximately 212 minutes. The average First Care visit lasts less than one hour, and is a fraction of the cost of the ER.
How does urgent care compare with ERs on cost?
When compared to emergency care, urgent care represents a much more cost effective means of treating acute illness or injury that is not life or limb threatening. The cost of an urgent care patient visit averages approximately $35-100, a typical emergency department visit averages approximately $1,233, and the average cost of a primary care physician visit is approximately $200.
But what about quality of care?
First Care offers a highly trained medical team. In addition, we ensure all providers are current and up to date with any special credentialing or training requirements. State of the art equipment and facilities are routinely commended for cleanliness and functionality, all of which contribute to a high-quality health care experience.
What will you find at a typical center?
First Care prides itself on providing care in a warm, friendly environment. Our centers offer multiple, private treatment rooms and careful attention to a comforting aesthetic helps you start feeling better immediately. EachFirst Care center offers full-service capabilities including state of the art equipment like digital X-rays as well as labs, EKGs, and IV capabilities.