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Urgent Care Centers Are For Modern Changing Times

7 Apr

Of late urgent care centers have become more and more popular among people who don’t want to wait for an appointment with a doctor, and instead are looking for instant walk-in medical services.  According to the Adelaide Research and Scholarship journal article – “Time scarcity: another health inequality?”, people need time to access health services, build close relationships, exercise, work, play, care and consume-all activities that are fundamental to our health.  However, the article further states that another impact of time scarcity may be the prevention of activities and behaviors critical for good health.  Today, everyone is busy.  They have time for tweeting and driving (hopefully not together) but have little time for their health and family.  As such, due to a lack of time or otherwise, many people are delaying or going without care for illnesses or injuries that need treatment.  For these people, a visit to an urgent care center may be a logical and reasonable solution for when they have an illness that is not life threatening.  An urgent care center can help them save time for the other pressing things in life.  There is no reason to wait for an appointment to consult a family doctor when their next available appointment is weeks away, or wait for hours at a hospital emergency room.  In most circumstances, you would probably prefer to see a doctor who is aware of your constraints and has the time to give you personalized attention.

For a patient with time constraints, what is better than a doctor who can see you at a moment’s notice?  There is a marked difference between today’s society and previous generations.  While previous generations were healthier and had to deal with perhaps a more limited number of more serious diseases, today we are fatter, sicker and weaker and also have to deal with a myriad of diseases and ailments.  However, notwithstanding all these negative factors, we are fortunate to have many great options and alternatives in our healthcare system; starting with primary care to secondary care, tertiary care, home and community care or public health.  In addition, we have general hospitals, emergency rooms, primary doctors, and urgent care centers to cater to our every health care needs.  Interestingly, Darwin’s theories of evolution regarding the survival of the fittest seems to still hold good today, yet now it is the best and most timely service which receives the most attention.  Urgent care centers, as a relatively new option, have been gaining in popularity as they present a great alternative to patients whose primary concerns are time and money. In spite of their growth, many remain ignorant of urgent care as a better alternative to other more traditional facilities and thus end up spending more money and time than necessary seeking care.  By taking the time to discover which service truly best suits their needs and circumstances, patients can easily take care of the health and well-being of their family.

Many people seem to resist change, even positive changes, for no rhyme or reason.  There are always improvements being made in the allocation of resources for more efficient utilization of those resources and thus better results, yet many people find a comfort zone and refuse to venture out from it.  In simple terms, life-threatening medical issues are meant to be handled in hospital emergency rooms for obvious reasons, whereas minor and common diseases and injuries can best be handled in urgent care centers as these centers are created, designed, and equipped for such issues. Yet people continually return to an ER for treatment that could best be handled elsewhere, all because they are either unaware of their alternatives, or because they are unwilling to examine those alternatives and find a better option.

Urgent care centers are well equipped to treat any minor trauma quickly and generally at a cheaper cost than other medical facilities. You will still see the same type of doctors who are found at hospital emergency rooms, meaning they are board-certified and typically have emergency room experience.  Urgent care centers are also well staffed with a highly committed and dedicated support and nursing staff who are specialized and trained for the purpose of dealing with such common medical issues.  Times change and we need to change accordingly.  Urgent care centers are a great alternative for our modern times.

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Health Insurance Plans And Urgent Care Centers Can Cover Your Minor Medical Issues

15 Mar

Health insurance is a topic on the forefront of many people’s minds.  It is all over the media and for those people fortunate enough to have a health insurance plan it will cover those unpredictable moments in life.  You can get timely medical care and protect the health and financial future of your family in the face of rising healthcare costs. It is a fact of life that accidents and diseases tend to happen when least expected and they can throw everything out of gear by throwing a wrench in your carefully planned budget.  When you look at the facts and figures of how accidents and diseases, whether work-related or otherwise, take a heavy financial and personal toll worldwide, having a good health insurance plan becomes even more valuable. The Center for Disease Control estimates that spending on direct care for cancer alone is over $74 billion per year, with individual treatment costs at almost $2,000 per day.  Having a health insurance plan can help alleviate these costs and save you from a financial crisis. 

However, just having a health insurance plan is not enough.  You need to be able to make good decisions about where to go for coverage and make full use of all of your plan’s benefits. Many people find it difficult to navigate the myriad of choices available to them when they simply need to see a doctor.  There are many instances where people are unable to get the treatment covered despite having a good insurance plan because they mistakenly chose to get treatment at a medical facility that is not covered under their insurance plan.  Even at a facility which is covered, it is often difficult to get an appointment for the same day or the following day, primarily due to an overall shortage of physicians and a heavy influx of patients.  And, if any serious disease strikes in the dead of night, getting access to a physician immediately is next to impossible.  You will likely find yourself in this sort of situation eventually, as most medical facilities typically operate during conventional office hours and are closed when you find yourself in need of urgent treatment.  In such instances, you may be tempted to try a number of options like seeking over the counter medication at a drugstores or even waiting several days to see your normal doctor.

If that is the case, an urgent care center could well be the best option available in today’s health care system.  These facilities do not have such constraints like overcrowding, long waiting times, conventional hours of operation, a shortage of physicians and assistants such as nurses and so on.  Urgent care centers are walk-in clinics where you do not need a prior appointment to see a physician nor do you have to wait for forever to be seen.  There the physicians and the staff are specifically dedicated to providing prompt and courteous service without neglecting the quality of treatment.  But, above all, what is beneficial for you as an owner of a health insurance plan is that an increasing number of health insurance companies have started covering visits to these clinics for a modest co-payment and this co-payment is usually less than the co-pay for an ER visit.  As such, if you have an illness which is serious but not life threatening, you can safely visit an urgent care center and get all your treatments covered under the plan.

As discussed earlier, it is not enough to simply have a good health insurance plan; you need to go to the right medical facility for your disease or injury to make best use of your benefits.  For a minor ailment, a visit to an emergency room is not your best option as the co-pay will be higher than at an urgent care center, and you will likely face long wait times as patients with more serious issues are treated first. Therefore, a visit to an emergency room should only be for a major emergency. An urgent care center will be able to provide treatment for your minor issues, both cheaper and quicker than an ER. It can be difficult, but well worth the effort to evaluate how to best use your health insurance plan and know where to go to receive the best level of care.