Patients that are looking for reliable healthcare options around Hale, CO and other areas in Denver shouldn’t have to wait, or pay high rates, for the emergency room (ER). Thankfully, informed patients can make better decisions about local healthcare options that are more affordable and convenient than other traditional medical providers.
Local walk-in clinics and respective urgent care centers are a great way for patients to find useful alternatives from traditionally long-wait and expensive medical providers. Additionally, most patients can likely use a variety of insurances, afford self-pay rates, and get same-day care at an urgent care compared to the ER.
But what should patients understand about urgent care, walk-in, clinics, and emergency rooms? When is it appropriate to use one facility over the other? Here is what you need to know:
What do walk-in clinics and urgent care centers offer patients?
In general, urgent care services help to treat a variety of immediate medical needs including sudden injuries, illnesses, and other acute health issues. But that doesn’t mean urgent care isn’t a viable alternative to the ER or doctor’s office for other needs.
In fact, urgent care and community walk-in clinics are able to perform a variety of medical needs that help you stay healthy. These include:
- Injury Treatment: Urgent care centers and their walk-in clinics offer immediate injury treatment for sudden ailments including cuts, bruises, lacerations, and similar acute injuries. However, urgent care can also provide treatment for broken bones and mild sprains.
- STD Testing: STD tests are crucial to ensure that your sexual activity is safe and that you’re not at risk for a potentially debilitating STD. Urgent care offers private and discreet STD testing services.
- Lab Testing: Lab testing including blood work, diagnostic exams, and other clinical tests. Most urgent care centers and their walk-in clinics have immediate lab testing services.
- X-Rays: X-rays are some of the most commonly requested appointments through the ER, but alternative healthcare options like urgent care can provide x-rays as well.
- School Physicals: School physicals, sport and camp physicals, and other routine exams for your child don’t have to be completed in a doctor’s office. Simply visit urgent care when your child needs a new physical.
- Flu Shots: Seasonal flu shots at a retail clinic or a similar pharmaceutical provider can help keep you and your family healthy during flu season. But did you know that urgent care centers also provide fast flu shots at their walk-in clinics?
- Illness Treatment: Illness treatment such as symptom relief and treatment diagnosis is readily available within an urgent care center
However, it is important to understand when it is appropriate to use either urgent care and walk-in clinics, or the emergency room. Unless it is a life-threatening medical emergency, use urgent care for many services like exams, testing, or acute treatment.
When patients use urgent care in the right medical situations hey are likely to save on considerable time and cost:
How do urgent care centers, walk-in clinics save on costs?
Ultimately, urgent care centers provide considerably lower cost than emergency rooms. As we discussed in our last blog, walk-in clinics generally provide acute services for low out-of-pocket rates and
Urgent care centers and walk-in clinics also offer more affordable rates for medical services and can help to reduce a patient’s potential medical debt. This is because even the out-of-pocket cost for walk-in clinic services are a fraction of hospital and emergency room costs.
Many walk-in clinics offer STD testing, physicals, and even lab services at a lower cost than a hospital can, all while adding the convenience factor of walk-in care. This cost encourages people with less serious injuries to choose the urgent care over the ER, which helps even more with the patient distribution and improving the quality of care.
Additionally, urgent care centers can offer the same services of an ER, like lab and x-ray testing, for a fraction of the cost. Sometimes, patients in an ER will receive a surprise emergency bill if their insurance doesn’t cover the cost. or they simply don’t have insurance.
Thankfully, patients at an urgent care center are asked about their payment options upfront, accept most in-state insurances, and provide affordable self-pay options.
Urgent care and walk-in clinics also allow patients to schedule and complete treatment at a fraction of the time of an emergency room. On average, an emergency room wait is 30 minutes and can be over an hour. Urgent care wait times are usually half that time and can be as low as 10 minutes.
Where can I find good low-cost medical alternatives in Hale, CO?
Patients and families residing in Hale, CO and other local communities in Denver can find affordable and efficient urgent care options at AFC Urgent Care Denver Highlands!
Our urgent care staff emphasizes convenience and comfort to provide a higher-quality alternative to the emergency room. Simply call us directly or visit our clinic to been seen right away!