Take a minute to do a Google search for the closest urgent care facility to your home. An urgent care center is meant to ease the burden of the quantity of patients an emergency room sees each year by helping to treat illnesses and injuries that are not life threatening. Usually, a patient is told they need to follow up with their regular physician, but urgent cares are going to give you the preliminary care you need to take care of an injury or illness.
And, you will probably find that there are several urgent health care centers available near you, because they seem to be springing up everywhere! A study performed by the Rand Corporation in 2010 found that almost 20% of visits to hospital emergency rooms would have been able to be treated in urgent care facilities, which could save a potential $4.4 billion annually in the cost of health care.
If you are worried about getting immediate care, because these centers are staffed 24 hours most of the time, you can be sure you are going to get the urgent cares you need. Not only that, but a typical visit to the ER costs about $1,500 on average. Treatment at an urgent care facility tends to be less than $150 on average, so if you were worried about urgent care cost, don’t be! It’s a tenth the price of an Emergency Room visit, usually!
Because the average child can catch anywhere from six to ten colds per year, and between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population comes down with some form of the flu every year, it’s no wonder there are so many people heading to the Emergency Room. But, you can help stop overcrowding too, just by heading to a nearby urgent care facility instead of the hospital. Great references here.