There is some discrepancy in the services that urgent care clinics offer, in general. The purpose of this blog is to educate patients on the way an urgent care clinic operates and how it differs from a primary care facility and an emergency room.
What is an urgent care clinic?
Urgent care is essentially an alternative to your primary physician and the emergency room. Urgent care clinics tend to have longer hours than primary care clinics do. It’s a great option for someone who has a mild injury or feels sick during a time that their primary physician’s office is closed. Also, it is a great option for someone whose condition is not severe enough for the emergency room. Urgent care clinics offer vaccines, strep and flu tests, x-rays, and more.
When should I choose the ER over urgent care?
Any instance that involves a heart attack, stroke, major bleeding, labor, or unconsciousness needs to be treated in an emergency room. Urgent care clinics often have wait times, and not a second should be wasted in these severe conditions. Even if there was not a wait time, the physician at an urgent care clinic would not be able to give you proper medical attention under these circumstances and would send you to the nearest emergency room.
What is the cost, and is insurance accepted?
If your insurance policy covers urgent care visits, the urgent care clinic you plan to visit should accept your insurance. However, there are cases in which some insurance will not be accepted. If you are unsure, consider calling the urgent care clinic before driving there. If your insurance is accepted, patients should expect to pay a co-payment ranging from an average of $20 to $50, but this depends entirely on your insurance.
Do I have to make an appointment?
Urgent care is routinely walk-ins only. However, it is becoming increasingly popular for urgent care clinics to encourage patients to sign in online. This can decrease your wait time, but making an appointment for a specific day and time is not necessary.
Are urgent care clinics open on holidays?
For the most part, the answer is yes. Urgent care is in much higher demand on holidays and weekends since these are days that primary physicians usually close their offices.
Visit our website to find the First Care location nearest you and check-in online. First Care Clinics are open 7 days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM to give you the quality medical care you deserve. We look forward to assisting you and helping you get back to your normal healthy lifestyle.