When Was the Last Time That You Needed Health Care in the Middle of the Night?


Closed today.
Family Emergency.
Will open again Wednesday.
The sign was simple and to the point.
The activity behind the sign, however, was fairly hectic.
After complaining of several minor illnesses in the last few days, you finally took you older daughter in to a family urgent care.
First it had been headaches, then it was a stomach ache. When the pain moved into your daughter\’s back you simply decided that you needed to find out what was going on. In the end, it was a simple urinary tract infection that seemed to be the cause of most of the problems. Once diagnosed, however, you could breathe easier and get back to the task of opening your gift boutique again on Wednesday.
As the nation continues to struggle with decisions about who does and does not have health coverage, it is the medical industry that is providing the care that finds itself looking for immediate answers. In an attempt to offer a flexible and successful platform, the healthcare industry continues to offer a number of family and pediatric urgent care clinics that can meet the needs of situations that range from minor illnesses to more serious health conditions.
Today\’s Health Clinics Are Affordable
In a time of rather unpredictable insurance coverage, it should come as no surprise that Americans are in search of the most affordable health care options. While there was a time when some families turned to expensive hospital emergency rooms for even minor illnesses, today\’s health care consumer is increasingly learning to search out more affordable options. For many, the answer to affordable care is found in health care clinics. At a fraction of the cost of visiting an emergency room, a health clinic is a good solution. For instance, the average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is approximately $103 a patient. This amount compares to $302 a patient on average in the emergency department of a hospital. In another example, a case that is is treatable in an urgent care setting that instead goes to a hospital emergency room costs an average of $2,039. If left in the urgent care, however, that same case would only cost $226.
Although some conditions obviously merit the expense of an emergency room visit, many situations, especially those involving minor illnesses, are more affordably handled in urgent care clinic settings. Did you know, for instance, that nearly seven out of ten emergency room visits are unnecessary? According to a Truven Health Analytics report, more than 70% of emergency department visits from patients with consumer-sponsored insurance coverage are for non-emergency conditions or conditions that are defined as being easily preventable by preventative and simple outpatient care.
Today\’s Health Clinics Are Convenient
Located in strip malls or as stand alone buildings, health clinics have convenient locations and hours. Open on weekends and evenings, these clinics are flexible enough to meet the needs of many families. Many illnesses and injuries do not happen at the most convenient of times. Instead of waiting for a family physician\’s office to open, however, many people have realized the advantages of visiting a clinic that has more accommodating hours. In fact, most urgent care centers in the year 2014 operated seven days a week and are open at least four hours a day. In fact, the seven day opening applies to 97% of these clinics and the at least four hours every day applies to 99%.
Today\’s Health Clinics Are Efficient
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting hours in a hospital emergency room or waiting a significant portion of the morning for a well visit at a pediatrician\’s office. When time is of the essence, it is especially important to make sure that you select a setting where you can get the care you need in an efficient manner. Statistics indicate that roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to get in to see a physician or mid-level provider. From statistics across all clinics, 65% indicate that they have a physician on-site at all times.
One of the reasons that these clinics are so efficient is that they are so well staffed. In fact, a physician or a group of physicians owns approximately 50% of urgent care centers.