In a Boston Globe story titled “Urgent-care clinics gaining ground,” dated April 27, 2014, the news source outlines the growing presence of advanced urgent care centers, both in Boston and throughout the United States. Currently, there are more than 9,000 local urgent care centers spread throughout the country, but within the next five years, that number is set to grow geometrically.
What is it that is causing so many new urgent care services to open, and why are those that have been in business for a decade continuing to expand? Well, it goes without saying that the demand for 24 hr urgent care centers has skyrocketed, but what are the reasons behind that? Read on to find out.
Three Reasons Advanced Urgent Care Facilities Are Spreading Like Wildfire
- Readily Available Staff
- Greatly Reduced Wait Times
- Lower Costs
Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all adult patients who visit the ER in the United States do so because their primary care physician (PCP) can’t or won’t fit them into the schedule? We’ve all been there. How many times have you called your PCP to get an appointment, only to find you’ll have to wait several weeks? The best advanced urgent care centers make a point to keep their hours long and flexible, meaning they can get you in when it’s convenient for you, not when it’s convenient for them.
As the American Urgent Care Association points out, wait times for emergency departments across the country have reached ridiculously unsustainable lengths. Just think of all the national news stories over the last five years about sick people having to wait six hours to be seen by a nurse! Many urgent care facilities are known for wait times as short as five minutes.
Few Americans realize how much money can be saved by choosing to go to their advanced urgent care center instead of their ER when they have a non-life-threatening issue. According to a study in Health Affairs, a respected journal on public health policy, Americans could save $4.4 billion a year if they stopped going to ERs when all they need is an urgent care center. How is that possible? Urgent care facilities are known for offering far reduced pricing on the same procedures when compared to ERs.
Quite clearly, advanced urgent care centers are here to say. Between drastically reduced costs for a wide range of services, reduction of wait times, and readily available, attentive staff, can anyone really be surprised by advanced urgent care’s success? Continue your research here.