In the last ten years, people have gotten access to more healthcare options as the need has arisen. However, this abundance of choice has also caused some confusion. As a result, most people usually stick to visiting the ER. However, what you may not know is that you have quite many options from which to choose. This includes convenient care and urgent care. If you visit the ER when there is no life-threatening condition, you are likely to wait long and be charged quite a lot. Here is a bit more about the treatment options that you have today in America courtesy of Frontline ER.
Understanding Convenient Care Clinics
Convenient care clinics are also often called walk-in clinics. These clinics are often located within the drug store such Walgreens or CVS. They were first created to serve the underinsured or uninsured, giving them an affordable option for basic medical care than going to the ER or urgent care.
These clinics often treat patients for common ailments such as skin rashes, sore throats, sprains, and upset stomach. While these clinics are convenient, they have some major limitations. For one, they usually only have a single medical provider working there. This, of course, means you have to wait for quite a while before the medical practitioner can attend to you.
Besides that, you cannot be treated for any complex injuries. For instance, if the use of x-ray or suturing is needed, they cannot be of much help. If your illness requires anything more than a simple prescription, these clinics will not be of much help
About Urgent Care Clinics
These are like convenient care clinics but with more capabilities. For one, instead of having just one nurse on duty, they will usually have doctors and nurses working there. They also have equipment and specialists there. These urgent care centers can handle complex cases with ease. They can also perform CT scans, x-rays, and much more.
In fact, most people who go to the ER could have received the care they deserve in urgent care. For one, the wait times are quite short. Besides that, the final bill will lower than going to the ER. Urgent care doctors can suture wounds, test blood, and even give out vaccinations. While they offer great services, you will not need to make an appointment.
While you may have to book a week in advance with your doctor, you can walk in and see a doctor in just 30 minutes at these clinics. In fact, these centers offer a level of care comparable to what you can expect to get from your GP. If it is late in the night or the weekend, always go to the urgent care if your doctor has closed his office.
When to Visit the ER
If you have a condition that threatens your life or limb, rush to the ER or call 911. However, you have to be sure about whether you are sick or it is just a scare. The reason for this is the cost. Copays for the ER can be high even with good insurance coverage. However, if it is found out that the condition was not an emergency; you could end up paying for the total cost yourself.
One way to avoid such a scenario is to learn. Listen to the advice that your GP gives you about identifying an emergency. Besides that, you can call him and describe your symptoms. He or she will advise you on what measures you can take to avoid getting worse. He will also advise you whether your current symptoms warrant a visit to the ER.
Do not confuse ER with urgent care
Going to urgent care will cost you less than an ER visit. However, it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes. One place that has this problem is Texas. This is because a freestanding ERs may have the same look and feel to an urgent care center. However, the difference will be in the designation “ER” in their name.
If you wanted to get to urgent care and you find yourself in the ER, the costs could be quite high. Besides that, you may have problems with your insurer. For instance, some ER’s do not have to be a part of any hospital. Thus, they may also not be part of any insurance scheme. This means that insurers will not cover you if you go there. In most cases, if it is not part of your healthcare network, you will not get the cover you want.
That can be quite confusing, especially when you are sick. Thus, you should take time and study the medical facilities in your area. Do not wait until you are sick to discover your options. Call them during times of good health and ask all questions that you might have. It could save you a lot of time and money.