News & Press: Urgent Care News

Choosing an Urgent Care Center That’s Right for You

Tuesday, February 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: everydayHEALTH/UCAOA
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These healthcare providers may be an option when you don’t need to go to the ER and your doctor isn’t available.

Urgent care centers play a growing role in healthcare nationwide as a treatment option for non-emergency illnesses and injuries. But what factors should consumers weigh when choosing an urgent care center?

Urgent care centers now account for 18.2 percent of all primary care visits and 9.7 percent of outpatient visits in the United States, according to the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA). “In a short amount of time, urgent care centers have experienced rapid growth,” says Laurel Stoimenoff, the chief executive officer of the UCAOA, which is one of several urgent care membership and accreditation groups in the country.

Why Urgent Care?

These centers offer an alternative to the long waits and high costs of an emergency room visit when urgent care is needed for a non-life-threatening condition, and provide walk-in access to medical care after hours or on weekends when a primary care physician may be unavailable. They typically provide a range of services, treating everything from strains, sprains, and minor fractures to cold or flu symptoms, mild asthma, rashes, and minor burns.

The UCAOA estimates that there are more than 7,500 centers across the country, with as many as 500 new centers opening each year. “In my own experience, there are probably three or four urgent care centers within a five-mile radius,” Stoimenoff says. “It can be confusing to a patient to know where to go.”

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