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More and More People Using Urgent Care Centers

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For a number of reasons, urgent care services are being utilized more and more by the American public. There are a number of reasons why people choose urgent care services over going to the regular doctor. Here are just a few.

One of the main reasons more and more people are seeing an urgent care doctor is the convenience. Only about 29% of primary care doctors offer after-hours appointments, which means if you can’t get an appointment during normal weekday business hours, then you are out of luck. On the other hand, 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week and nearly all stay open until at least 7 p.m. on weeknights. Another level of convenience with urgent care is the ability to get a same-day appointment, something you often can’t get with your primary care doctor. Additionally, urgent care centers offer things like vaccinations and sports physicals that are more convenient and may be cheaper than getting them at the doctor’s office.

Another reason urgent care services are becoming more popular is because of more people getting insurance for the first time thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Because so many more people now have health insurance, they are looking for doctors, and primary care doctors do not have enough patient openings to handle all the people. so they are looking to urgent care services instead.

In addition to the ACA giving more people insurance, more and more companies are shifting more of the costs of insurance onto their employees and they are restricting services. which is driving more people to urgent care. Urgent care centers often offer appointments and routine health services for less than doctor’s offices, which means lower prices for people with high-deductible health plans who have high out-of-pocket costs. Company health insurance plans also are putting more restrictions and extra fees on the use of hospital emergency rooms, which means people save money by going to urgent care centers after hours rather than emergency rooms. In most cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control, people who go to the emergency room could have gone to urgent care instead, so in that case, urgent care services save a lot of money, because on average, someone who went to the ER when they could have gone to urgent care, spend nearly $800 more.

The fact is, urgent care centers are not only here to stay, they are growing, and due to these and other factors, they are likely only to become more popular and grow even more.

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