This has been a rough start to the week. When you woke up this morning you had a chest pain and you panicked. And while the doctors at the hospital said you did the right thing by coming into the emergency room, you are now faced with an expensive bill after the doctor’s had to run one test after another to make sure that things were alright. You were feeling that it was an emergency, and that was why you took the drastic step of going to the ER, but you also realize that you need to have other health care options for the times in your life when you need medical advice about less serious situations. You have not been to your family physician for more than three years, and though you drive by the best urgent care providers in the area on a regular basis, you never take the time to make the appointments that you need to make sure that you are as healthy as you should be.
Unfortunately, many Americans do not take the time to take care of themselves as they should. With no other options, these Americans find themselves going to expensive hospital emergency rooms for some of the most basic, nonemergency health care needs.
Chest Pains and Other Health Emergencies Merit a Visit to a Hospital Emergency Room
The hospital ER is the exact place you need to go when you are experiencing chest pains or other potential life threatening conditions. Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms also come with long waits and very expensive bills. If, however, you are one of the 44% to 65% of all ER patients who could have been treated in urgent care clinic settings you may be paying expensive bills for a level of care that you did not need. The private study conducted by Milliman that indicated that four to six of every ER episodes could be treated elsewhere is an indication of how often this mistake occurs.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the services that can be handled in urgent care settings:
- Urgent care clinics average seven exam and treatment rooms.
- Urgent care clinics average seven exam/treatment rooms.
- 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a mid-level provider or physician.
- 65% of all urgent care centers have a physician on-site at all times.
- 97% of all urgent care centers in the year 2014 operate seven days a week.
- 99% of all urgent care centers are open at least four hours a day.
From itchy eyes to getting care for lacerations, an urgent care setting is often the best solution. From getting seen in a timely fashion to making sure that you are not paying expensive bills, there are many times when an urgent care setting is far better than a hospital emergency room.