Why Urgent Care Centers are Taking Over as the Preferred Medical Model

There are times when an illness or injury hits so severely and so unexpectedly that urgent medical treatment is needed. In such situations, emergency department system care is often needed. This type of care is best for minor illnesses such as the cold or flu, strep throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, lice, minor fevers, stomach bugs, kidney stones, seasonal allergies, and more. Mild injuries such as sprains, joint dislocation, minor breaks, and simple wounds and burns can also be treated by the emergency doctors office personnel.

Modern emergency room management focuses on getting people in and out as quickly as possible while also ensuring they get the care and treatments that they need. Minor illnesses and injuries can be treated and medications can also be provided as needed to help speed recovery. Emergency room doctors can also help give you advice for your ongoing care. If needed, they can refer you to a local hospital or medical center for more advanced or intensive care if that is required for your situation.


Medical care models are constantly changing in our country. Previously, medical care could only be received at local hospital settings. Today, you have a variety of medical treatment options, from the local emergency care center to your primary physician, and more frequently, to the convenient medical treatment of afterhours urgent care centers. Afterhours urgent care centers are rapidly expanding and will likely take over the medical world for the following reasons.

Extended hours and availability
The problem with primary physicians? offices is that they have very limited availability. In fact, if you make an appointment with your primary physician, you could be required to schedule sometimes months in advance. Waiting months for a physician appointment for minor injuries and illnesses may be acceptable, but is not ideal for more serious of or chronic conditions. Even experiencing minor injuries and illnesses on the weekend can be a problem, because you are forced to wait until Monday morning to get into your primary physician. Afterhours urgent care centers, however, have emergency healthcare services with an increase in availability.

Advanced diagnostic and laboratory services
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of urgent care centers is their advanced diagnostic and laboratory services availabilities. Scheduling an appointment with your primary physician does not even guarantee that you will receive necessary diagnostic and laboratory services. In many cases, you may be referred out to a testing center. This is causing more and more patients to skip the physician?s office and go right to the urgent care center, because they can get answers and then treatment much faster.

Increase in urgent care centers
Urgent care centers did not immediately take off, mostly due to the fact that there were not many of them initially. Today, however, there are many locations located in every city. It is probably closer to the local urgent care center for you than it is to your primary physician or the nearest emergency center room. There are approximately 9,300 walk in, standalone urgent care centers in the United States, and 50 to 100 new clinics open every year (numbers fluctuate with corporate buy overs, expansions, and consolidations).

Decrease in medical costs
One of the biggest deters to emergency room care is the high cost. Even with health insurance, a person who visits the local emergency department can be charged thousands of dollars out of pocket. If advanced medical care is needed, this number can quickly get out of control. Afterhours urgent care centers offer the convenience of the emergency room, but at a reduced cost. Average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is approximately $103 per patient, compared with $302 per patient on average in a hospital emergency department, according to the report. This reduced medical cost for minor injuries and illnesses is likely to continue bringing patients to it.

Experienced medical professionals
Every year, many patients complain about the medical care they received in an emergency department. The patient is charged high costs, yet often received medical care from a trainee or student. Most urgent care centers are owned by primary physicians, so patients receive a higher quality of medical care, whether they are receiving treatment for minor injuries and illnesses or more serious of medical conditions. There are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today, and the number is growing. Urgent Care professionals have developed Urgent Care Medicine into an important, recognized specialty that represents this fast growing medical field. Patients can feel confident about the care they receive in urgent care centers, including after hours pediatrics.

Medical care models are always changing. Today, one of the fastest growing trends is that of afterhours urgent care centers. Afterhours urgent care centers offer many benefits including extended hours and availability for easier scheduling, advanced diagnostics, a decrease in medical costs, and an increase in locations. The urgent care centers is a great alternative medical care option to both primary physician and emergency department medical care options.