How do walk-in clinics, urgent care impact the healthcare industry?

walk-in clinic in Denver
Walk-in clinics and your local urgent care center can provide a more cost-effective and smarter healthcare option than traditional care.

Walk-in clinics and urgent care centers are similar types of medical facilities that help provide a more accessible medical option for families and patients of all ages.

But did you know that using an urgent care center or a walk-in clinic provides a positive impact on the healthcare industry as a whole?

The main difference between a walk-in clinic and an urgent care center is that a walk-in clinic is usually a simple acute services clinic to address immediate needs, while an urgent care center provides comprehensive services. Additionally, an urgent care center usually incorporates a walk-in clinic as a more convenient way for patients to get the care they need.

Both walk-in clinics and urgent care centers provide several important needs for patients. Since healthcare as a whole is considered expensive, inefficient, and timely patients always want better and more efficient solutions. That is where urgent care comes in:

According to an analysis by DocuTap, urgent care centers and their walk-in clinics are primed to provide new solutions that leverage cost-effective solutions to give patients a better medical experience.

But what exactly do urgent cares offer patients to improve their overall experience?

An urgent care center can provide a great alternative to crowded emergency rooms

Urgent care centers have exploded in access, increasing from 6000 nationwide in 2014 to nearly 8400 in 2018. The number of urgent care centers continues to increase as more patients look for more efficient healthcare providers.

However, urgent care are likely to help stop overcrowding in the emergency room if patients opt to use urgent care appropriately. A research letter published in the Journal of Emergency Room suggests that urgent care can help patients get care faster and a lesser cost than the ER:

The emergency department is already working at maximum capacity and cannot absorb more patients who are unable to find other sources of care. Urgent care centers are a piece of the solution. Urgent care centers have the capability to manage patients who have non–life-threatening emergencies. They offer a more cost-effective use of care and have the potential to absorb 30% to 50% of (emergency department) ED patients. However, a serious effort needs to be made to provide more urgent care centers in urban areas and educate communities about their resources.

Journal of Emergency Nursing

An urgent care center would not only provide a more effective alternative for patients, but it could clear up visitor traffic in ER visits for those with the most threatening medical emergencies.

An urgent care center is likely to cost less than a traditional medical provider

A great reason to visit an urgent care center is to find a more cost-effective alternative to a more traditional medical provider. While most patients are likely to assume that urgent care is cheaper than another provider, the actual cost difference is significant.

A 2016 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that ER treatment costs are approximately 10 times more than the exact same services at an urgent care center. Services including lab and x-ray tests are usually a fraction of the cost at an urgent care center as well as other preventive services.

Additionally, an urgent care center is likely to accept most major insurance carriers since health insurance companies can likely save their own costs by adding urgent care into their network.

Urgent care centers provide a simplified way for younger patients to get care

The traditional model of receiving medical care is fairly time-consuming: call your doctor, schedule an appointment, wait for your appointment, take time off work, and then get care.

Younger adults that prefer simplified and concierge-like services are likely to choose urgent care over other medical providers, since urgent care centers add extra convenience to the medical experience. Per Business Insider:

Urgent care centers play an increasingly vital role in the continuum of care, providing services for a wide array of patients who may be unable to see a primary care physician for various reasons, including simply not yet affiliating with one,” said Laurel Stoimenoff, PT, CHC at the Urgent Care Association.

This is especially true of millennials, who are leading the way in driving demand and increased utilization of urgent care centers; Business Insider Intelligence research shows that nearly half of millennials (45%) do not have a primary care physician — largely due to providers’ failure to create a consumer-oriented healthcare experience.

Business Insider

Find urgent care in Cherry Creek, CO and other Denver neighborhoods

The good news for patients is that AFC Urgent Care Denver provides accessible and affordable urgent care across the greater Denver area.

Patients located in or around Cherry Creek, Belcaro, and Cory-Merrill Colorado can access our nearby AFC Denver location to make a smarter, and more efficient healthcare decision.

If you have any questions about our amenities at AFC Urgent Care Denver Cherry Creek, please call us directly or visit us at 760 S. Colorado Blvd. in Denver, CO 80246.

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