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Emergency Care Services How They Provide the Best Urgent and Emergency Medical Care

Emergency medical and urgent services

There are approximately 110 million emergency room visits every year. While a substantial percentage of these visits may be for life-threatening situations, others could be treated at an urgent care clinic. Recent data shows that emergency room visits have actually increased more than 22% within the past ten years. This is due, in part, to how Americans expect and rely on 24-hour access to medical services.

According to a 2009 RAND Corp. study, approximately $4.4 billion in health care costs could be saved by people visiting urgent care clinics. This is due to their finding that 14% to 27% of the issues that lead people to go the emergency room could have been evaluated and treated at an urgent care center. Since some of these facilities also have 24 hour walk in clinics, they are a welcome alternative to the traditional hospital emergency room.

The Urgent Care Association of America reports that in 2011, the average urgent care center saw 342 patients on a weekly basis. Furthermore, these urgent care centers also had an increase of 28 new patients per month. This demonstrates that more people are becoming aware of the effective care that is being provided by urgent care facilities.

About half of the urgent care centers are owned by a physician or group of physicians. When visiting 60% of these facilities, patients usually only need to wait for up to 15 minutes to see a physician or mid-level provider, such as a physician’s assistant. There is also a physician on-site at all times with 65% of urgent care facilities.

The American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine indicates that on average, physicians will see 4.5 patients per hour. This will, of course, depend on whether or not each patient is presenting with a serious health problem. In some instances, these individuals may need to be admitted to the hospital.

It’s also important to note that the best urgent care also costs less than a traditional hospital emergency room visit. More specifically, when someone is treated at a hospital emergency room for an issue such as the flu, this can cost an average of $2,039.00. When someone visits an urgent care clinic for the same issue, the costs would average $226.00.

Since the best urgent care facilities can treat a wide range of illnesses and injuries as well as provide advanced diagnostic and laboratory services, it makes sense for people to visit these medical centers. This is even more the case with hybrid medical centers. These centers have emergency departments as well as the best urgent care clinics within the same building. As a result, patients do not have to make a choice as to which would be better because they will have access to both under the same roof.

Five Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs

A convenient quality and cost effective er alterna

Despite economic depressions and recessions, medical care is something that remains needed and significant. However, this does not mean that you should not price shop for the best medical care coverage. Medical care can be expensive, but with the right amount of research and knowledge, you can cut the costs of your medical care.

Understand your insurance coverage
Even patients with health insurance find themselves paying high medical bills. The insurance coverage policy can be confusing and difficult to navigate. You might assume that you are covered for a certain medical procedure, only to receive high medical bill weeks later. If possible, understand the specifics of your health insurance. Know which providers are covered and which are not. If you require a medical procedure, discuss it with your insurance provider ahead of time. They might recommend switching medical providers or the location of your procedure to cut costs. Too many people do not understand the details of their current health insurance plan.

Create an emergency plan
The highest medical bills that put people into debt are often from a medical emergency. When medical care is immediate and you do not have time to search for approved medical providers, you can be left with a huge bill. However, creating an emergency plan ahead of time can help you avoid these costs. For example, going to a childrens urgent care versus the local emergency room can save you thousands. Average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is approximately $103 per patient, compared to $302 per patient on average in a hospital emergency department, according to a medical report. You can prepare yourself for these after hours pediatrics emergencies by looking up 24 hour emergency room near me ahead of time.

Always go with the generic prescription
After you have searched for a 24 hour emergency room near me and visited with your medical emergency, it is likely that you are prescribed a medication. Even if the physician prescribes you a non generic medication, you can request a generic version. In most cases, the generic medication is comprised of the same ingredients and the only difference is that it comes at a cheaper price. Prescription costs can get expensive, especially following a 24 hour emergency room near me visit. Always inquire about the generic prescription option.

Know when to visit 24 hour urgent care locations
It can also be financially smart to know when to visit 24 hour urgent care locations and when a 24 hour emergency room near me visit is required. Learning about the most commonly treated conditions in an urgent care location can help you make your medical care decision, even in the middle of an emergency. Most urgent care centers offer a convenient quality and cost for some of the most common medical conditions. A 2009 RAND Corp. study reported 14 to 27% of emergency department visits could be handled by Urgent Care centers or retail clinics, saving up to $4.4 billion a year in health costs.

Choose a primary care physician
If you see multiple physicians, it can also be difficult to keep your medical needs straight. When you choose a primary care physician, they are responsible for all of your medical records. When you visit a local emergency department or urgent care convenient medical treatment center, you can then follow up with your primary physician. This keeps your medical treatment needs in one place and can save you the cost of high copays by seeing multiple physicians.

Americans rely heavily on the 24 hour access to care provided by emergency departments and visits have increased by 22% over the past decade. These visits are often extremely expensive especially if you have minimal or no health insurance. Fortunately, there are ways to cut your health care expenses. Understanding your health insurance, knowing when to visit an urgent care center, and developing an emergency medical care treatment plan can help you cut your medical care costs.