By 2025, it is estimated that there will be a need for 52,000 more primary care physicians in the United States. In order to provide quality care for an increasing number of individuals and their families, more medical students need to choose to become primary care physicians that specialize in urgent care medicine.
Hospital emergency rooms tend to be overflowing with patients that could be seen at an urgent care facility instead. Furthermore, when a medical situation isn’t life-threatening, these patients will usually have to wait longer to be evaluated and treated.
Between the years of 2003 and 2009, for example, hospital emergency room waiting periods rose from 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes. Currently, it is estimated that patients need to wait even longer to see a physician. Patients only need to wait for a fraction of that time at a family health care clinic, however. In general, it may only take 15 minutes to see a physician’s assistant or physician.
Even when patients have insurance for family care, they may still have to make a co-payment when seen at a hospital emergency room. “The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey” showed that on average, the total amount for an emergency room visit has cost $1,318.00. The mean cost for these visits, however, was $615.00.
The cost per visit at a walk in health clinic is considerably less than the cost per visit at a hospital. Furthermore, these facilities accept Insurance for family care. Low cost health clinics and free walk in clinics are also available at many of these facilities.
When after hours urgent care is needed, it’s important to note that this can be provided at a medical walk in clinic rather than at a hospital emergency room. These facilities provide a convenient, low-cost alternative, which can make a significant difference in patients receiving the care that they need.
Since many people have been conditioned to seek after-hours medical attention at hospital emergency rooms, it’s important to provide them with more information about the benefits of urgent care clinics. It’s also important that more Americans develop an awareness of when a medical issue is life-threatening or not.
Furthermore, as more physicians choose urgent care medicine as their specialty, people in the United States will have a better understanding of this growing field. The facilities where these physicians work provide quality care and are able to diagnose and treat a majority of issues. For prospective patients that need insurance for family care, It’s important to note that there are family health care plans available at these clinics.
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