Urgent Care Centers Are They the Saving Grace of the American Health Care System?

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Recently, the urgent care model has become a catalyzing agent for change within the American medical industry, especially in regards to emergency room usage. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately half of total adult Emergency Room patients who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital only sought treatment at the ER because their doctors offices were closed. Besides unnecessarily wasting their own time, by going to the ER when they were not suffering from a life threatening medical problem, these patients interfered with the true raison d’etre of hospital emergency rooms– to treat dangerous, life threatening medical issues.

In a 2010 report, the Rand Corporation asserted that one fifth of ER patients would have been more effectively treated at local urgent care centers. Were such a change to occur, it would result in an annual savings of $4.4 billion in health care costs. This is one reason that patients experiencing relatively minor health concerns should visit a local urgent care center instead of the ER.

In the United States alone there are 6,800 24 hour urgent care facilities, and those facilities are visited by 3 million patients each week for conditions like upper respiratory illnesses, sprains, gastrointestinal issues–i.e. food poisoning or the Noral virus, fractures, and even concussions. An estimated 66% of urgent care centers employ a combination of doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants to deal with these problems, and approximately 65 percent of all immediate care centers have at least one doctor on site at all times.

Though historically, the purpose of urgent care facilities was to diagnose and treat acute health care issues for after hours patients, nowadays these facilities also provide higher level diagnostic services like X rays, routine physicals, and lab tests, for example, cheap STD testing. Besides being sound public health policy, cheap STD testing at Urgent Care 24 Hours Centers makes good fiscal sense. Readily available and cheap STD testing is a necessity in many communities where the risk of venereal disease is high.

Cheap STD testing is an excellent public health service that many urgent care centers can provide. The offering of cheap STD testing by urgent care facilities can also help to make the average emergency room, the purpose of which is to treat life threatening problems, more efficient by diagnosing potentially life threatening illnesses like AIDS and syphilis before they require emergency care. Cheap STD testing offered by urgent care centers is a an excellent front line defense against the spread of venereal disease. Hopefully, in the near future, more and more urgent care walk in clinics will offer cheap STD testing for patients. Read more: doctorsexpressphoenix.com

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