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What to Look for in an Urgent Care Facility

The popularity of walk-in clinics for emergency care has been rising steadily over the past several years. These facilities are great when there are pressing medical issues that can’t wait for the time constraints of setting up an appointment with your regular physician, or aren’t necessarily serious enough for an emergency room visit. Choosing the right facility for immediate care is not always easy, so here are some helpful tips on how to find the right place for your pressing medical issues and when it is necessary to go there.

Do the Research

Before deciding on an urgent care facility, it is recommended that you do some basic research on the clinic. Most urgent care/walk-in clinics incorporate websites to promote their services. Visiting these sites will allow you to gather information about the doctors working there and what their specialties are.

It is also important to see what their insurance requirements are. Some of these clinics only accept certain types of insurance, which may or may not be the type you have. The last thing you want is to travel to one of these facilities only to learn that they don’t take your insurance. If you don’t have insurance, it is important to find out how much they are going to charge for their consultations, as the costs of using these clinics can vary.

The payment methods for certain clinics can vary, with some only taking specific credit cards, cash, or checks, so making sure you are able to pay with a check or credit card is something you should definitely look into.

Doing a quick Internet search on urgent care facilities in your area will also present patient reviews of the clinic and the doctors working there. You certainly want to make sure that the care service you are planning on going to has positive reviews from its patients.

Situational Concerns

Determining if a medical issue requires going to an urgent care clinic, your regular physician, or an emergency room is largely a personal choice. Seeing your regular physician is usually the best option, if you are able to wait for an appointment, because they are more familiar with you and your unique health care needs. Still, the urgent care clinic is a good choice for non-life-threatening emergencies. It you feel that the matter is more pressing, an emergency rooms is an option that should be utilized if it is a matter of life and death or serious enough to warrant a hospital visit. Trust your instincts in these decisions. If you do go to an urgent care and your problem is more serious than anticipated, you would then be referred to an emergency room.