X-Rays at Urgent Care? How Urgent Care Provides Fast, Low-Cost Imaging Services

Most adults in the United States are likely to go to one of two places for their x-ray needs: a hospital or an emergency room (ER). But what they don’t know is that urgent care is usually a better alternative for x-ray services that both these facilities.

At AFC Urgent Care Denver, we want to break down why urgent care can provide a better x-ray experience than traditional healthcare facilities. However, if you need to take away at least one bit of information it’s this: urgent care is usually faster and more cost-effective than ERs.

Urgent care centers aren’t usually viewed as an effective alternative to hospitals and their ERs for x-ray and imaging services. But contrary to the norm, new research and evidence suggests that urgent care provides both cost-effective and high-quality imaging services.

Here are just a few of the reasons for why you should possibly look to urgent care for x-ray services:

An x-ray at an urgent care center is significantly lower cost than traditional medical facilities

physician holds up patient's x-ray

In general, an urgent care center is going to be more cost-effective than an emergency room for multiple services including injury treatment, x-rays, STD testing, fracture treatment, and similar medical needs.

Current statistics from Solv Health found that an urgent care is roughly 1/10 the cost of an emergency room. The average cost for a visit at an urgent care center ranges between $75-$125. Average costs for similar services at an emergency room can reach as high as $1,318 per visit.

So why wouldn’t you want to visit an urgent care center over an ER or hospital for imaging services if your predicted costs are substantially lower? You may need more convincing, but other evidence suggests urgent care costs are much lower than ER costs.

Debt.org, an advocacy organization focused on addressing affordability challenges in all industries, estimates that 70 percent of patients only have to pay a copay for most urgent care services while patients with a high-deductible on their insurance may pay upwards of $2000 for ER services.

The following quote from an Annals of Internal Medicine study emphasize the cost-effectiveness of urgent care services over the ER:

The Annals of Internal Medicine study found that the average cost of an urgent care visit for three common illnesses — middle ear infection, pharyngitis and urinary tract infection — was $155. Other estimates place the average urgent care visit at anywhere from $71 to $125. The bottom line is that an urgent care visit is substantially cheaper than an emergency room visit.”

X-ray services at urgent care centers take way less time to complete than in a hospital or an emergency room

multiple x-rays in collage

Urgent care centers provide x-rays and other services at more affordable rates than an emergency room. But do urgent care centers provide x-rays in a faster and more convenient patient experience?

Debt.org also found that the average wait time at an urgent care for all services is approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. Conversely, patients waiting for similar services at an ER may wait over two hours for the same service.

Emergency rooms are critical healthcare services for patients suffering from life-threatening emergency. This means that patients that don’t have a life-threatening medical emergency will have to wait to get acute services like x-rays.

Basically, patients that need x-rays should not try to use emergency room services since an ER is specialized to address life-threatening situations.

Additionally, patients are likely to wait even less than a half hour to complete an urgent care visit. A separate Solv Health analysis found that 57 percent of patients wait only 15 minutes to complete an urgent care visit.

So now that you understand why urgent care centers can provide x-rays at a lower cost and more convenient speed than an ER, where should you go to get x-rays?

Visit any one of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations for fast, affordable, and high-quality x-ray services

Patients that are located in the Greater Denver Area should visit one of our four AFC Urgent Care walk-in clinics for fast and affordable x-ray services.

We provide industry-standard healthcare as all of our urgent care centers are led by board-certified physicians. Our physicians excel in bedside manner, clinical care, and patient experience to provide the best possible urgent care experience for you.

Additionally, we staff certified x-ray technicians to ensure that your x-rays are accurate and provide the correct diagnosis for your medical conditions. If you want convenient walk-in clinic access to Denver Speer, Denver East, Cherry Creek, and Denver Highlands just use any of the buttons below for a quick appointment!

RESERVE MY SPOT at denver Speer 

RESERVE MY SPOT at Denver highlands

RESERVE MY SPOT at denver east

RESERVE MY SPOT at cherry creek

Getting an x-ray doesn’t need to be high-cost hassle if you visit AFC Urgent Care Denver. Why go through the long wait at the ER when you can get an x-ray in minutes, and at half the cost, with an urgent care center?

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