What to Expect From an Urgent Care Facility

October 23, 2018

If you or a family member need immediate medical care, it’s important to know what to expect from an urgent care facility before you arrive. There are more than 9,000 urgent care offices in the United States, so chances are you can find one close to you and get the care you need as quickly as possible.

Potentially Long Wait Times

When you come to urgent care, it may take between 15-20 minutes for the doctor to see you. However, there are facilities where you’ll wait for up to 45 minutes to be seen! Of course, if you need medical care right away, it’s best to visit the emergency room. Urgent care is best for minor injuries that need to be treated promptly and treating cold and flu symptoms. Even though these wait times are considered long, if you go to the emergency room, you could be waiting for more than two hours, which is why urgent care is usually a logical choice. Once you know which urgent care location you’re going to visit, see if you can check in online. This will reduce your wait time so you can get the care you need sooner.

You’ll Have to Pay a Fee

Keep in mind that a visit to urgent care is not free. However, it’s still considerably less expensive than going to the ER. If you must go to the emergency room, you could end up paying about $1,000 per visit depending on your health insurance plan deductible. When you go to urgent care, you’ll likely have a copay. Just be prepared to pay for the services rendered at the time of your visit.

Not All Urgent Care Centers Are Certified

Remember that some urgent care facilities in your area may be certified, while others are not. According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, there is an accreditation program available for facilities that want to operate at stricter standards. Not all facilities will provide X-ray machines or other medical equipment. Be sure to research the facility before you arrive to ensure the facility has what you need.

All Urgent Care Facilities May Not Accept Your Insurance

To find an urgent care center near you, search online for a facility that is close to where you live or work. For instance, you can start an online search for any urgent care clinic ocean city md in your area. The search results will likely include contact information for the urgent care and a website where you can get more information before your visit.

However, you’ll also need to make sure that your nearest urgent care center accepts your insurance. A visit to urgent care can be pricey, but it will be even more expensive if you don’t have insurance or the facility doesn’t accept your insurance. Ask your insurance provider to give you an in-network list of urgent care centers near you so you’ll know where to go in a medical emergency